I think this is the best advice so far. Folks, if she is having trouble recruiting glutes, what makes you think she’ll be able to recruit those inhibited glutes during a complex, muti-muscle exercise like lunges or split squats?
If the glutes are inhibited, what is to stop the synergisitic muscles (hams and erecor spinae) from taking over?
Whilst I agree that lunges and split squats are great for working the glutes if they aren’t inhibited and are firing properly in a case where the glutes are inhibited, than the patient needs to work on the mind-muscle connection to try and reverse the inhibition.
To the OP: Whilst it might not be beneficial in all cases to stretch the hip flexors, every muscle has an optimal working length and if your HFs are ‘short’ then they could benefit from stretching. The other thig to consider is that the gluts may well be partially inhibited BY the tight HFs and so, stretching the HFs before any glute activation work should be beneficial. However if the HFs are not short/tight (perform a Thomas test to evaluate) then stretching them may indeed be a bad idea.
glute activation exercise: he best (IMO) glute activation exercise is this: Lie on your front, arms by your sides. Bend the left knee until the lower leg is perpendicular to the ground. Now try to push your heel up to the ceiling. Do not let your hips leave the ground! If you do, then you are over recruiting your spinal erectors. The reason for the bent leg it to remove the hamstrings from the equation. You might also consider touching your working glute for ‘biofeedback’ purposes.
Perform several reps, then on the last rep, instead of lifting the leg, drive the hip into the ground by maximally contracting that glute.
Switch sides, repeat, etc.
Now, the limitation to this is that is only recruits the glute in a hip-extended position, which is not true to real life. You can try sitting in a chair and ‘dancing’ your glutes underneath you, or you can assume the bottom position of a stepup, and focus on statically contracting the glute in the flexed position, using fingers to check for activation. If you see your knee moving from side to side, then you are (or may be) overactivating your glute medius and minimus and/or ‘short’ adductors as a compensatory mechanism.
PS - ‘anterior femoral glide syndrome’ eh? You’ve obviously been doing some reading![/quote]
This is awesome- thank you, I will try that out. A little more about the problem: My hamstrings are waaaaay stronger than my quads and I think this is what caused my issue. (as in, I can do more weight on the lying leg curl than I can front squat: major imbalance there!). When I perform squats, the first few sets feel like someone is crushing them- it is not an injury type pain- just extreme tightness. It is hard to describe the feeling.
And my hip flexors would feel “tight” all day long- still do. Especially when waking up first thing in the morning.
Would u recommend I do the glute activation exercises multiple times during the day? Or just on leg days? What are my “safest” leg exercises to perform? I have read about femoral anterior glide syndrome and it being fixed with close stance squats?