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Weak Glutes: What are the Symptoms and How to Fix Them

There is a lot of talk in the mainstream fitness world about the importance of building and strengthening the core, but your glutes are also incredibly important. If your glutes are weak, it can throw off your balance, your posture, your strength athletic performance.

Fitness model butt

Your glutes are a massive grouping of muscles, and when they are weak, it can cause decreased mobility in the hips. The body then over-compensates for that lack of function and mobility which leads to improper use of the rest of the muscles in the body.

Some signs and symptoms of weak glutes:

1 Knee pain – Chronic knee pain can often be the result of poor glute strength.

2-Poor movement in exercises like squats and lunges – For example if your knees collapse in, if your knees shift forward, if you have poor hip hinge mechanics, or if you struggle to really “screw” your feet into the floor (toes or heels constantly come up) chances are you aren’t properly recruiting your glutes which leads to weakness.

3-Lack of soreness For example if you execute a big compound like a deadlift or a squat and aren’t sore in your glutes the day after that’s an issue.

Guy deadlift butt

4-Your hip flexors are tight – Most of us have imbalances between front to back, or the anterior and posterior of the body. Tight hip flexors can indicate weak and inactive glutes. This can also lead to an anterior pelvic tilt and back pain.

5-Weak ankles –  Do you often roll your ankles? Do your feet pronate? Do you have a lack of balance and stability standing on one leg? This all indicates disengaged glutes.

6-Poor posture  If you have bad posture or if you’re hunching over during the day, it could mean you’re in need of some glute strengthening. You might also get lower back pain as a result of poor gluteal muscles and lack of hip mobility.

7-Recurring foot pain and blisters –  I find this is particularly true of runners who have an abnormal foot strike as a result of weak glutes. But in general, foot pain, inflammation and blisters can indicate poor biomechanics stemming from weak or inactive glutes.


Glute Strengthening Tips

1-Try adding in some form of glute activation exercise daily. Exercises like bridges, single-leg bridges, single-leg deadlifts, side lunges, lunge holds, squat holds, glute extensions, and even something as simple as a single-leg stand (eyes closed and glutes tight) is all it takes to wake up the glutes. Take five minutes daily to add these in or plug them into your training as primers before any lower body focused work.

Glute bridge

2-It also helps to strengthen your mind to muscle connection. Actively think about your glutes when training and continue to remind yourself to engage them throughout your workout.

3-Squeeze them. I know it sounds strange but squeezing your glutes together hard prior to executing a major compound like a squat or deadlift can help wake them up and encourage you to recruit them during the exercise.


Related: Top 5 Butt Exercises


Wrapping it up

Now you know the symptoms of having weak glutes. Don’t be surprised if you have them many people do from sitting at a desk too much and lack of physical activity. Luckily there is something you can do about it that will help you feel better and get you glutes back up to speed.

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