Glutes = Core

“Your core is anything between your shoulders and your hips”.  

I think I first heard this from the ingenious Charlie Weingroff.  It makes perfect sense.  There are your limbs and what your limbs connect to.  That interweaving of connections is your core.

photo credit: fitfphysiotherapy.com

If you are quad dominant, you have thick thighs and no butt.  If you are a quad dominant athlete, you train often, making strong parts stronger.  Certain parts of your legs get bigger, but your butt stays relatively flat.  Tight hip flexors get tighter.  The pelvis anteriorly tilts, rotating the top forward.

photo credit: swolept.com

The erector spinae on the left are your low back muscles.  When the pelvis is shifted anteriorly, those erectors have a hard time shutting off.  If they can’t shut off, your lower stomach muscles can’t turn on.  Tension in the body follows the rule of reciprocal inhibition: when a muscle contracts, it’s opposite must relax.  Not only does anterior tilt cause back pain, it thickens and strengthens the hip flexors, further minimizing abdominal activation.

HIP FLEXORS
photo credit: deansomerset.com
The body likes easy.  If it could use two thick, strong ropes (hip flexors) to create/ resist movement or a thin piece of paper (rectus abdominis), it’s going to choose the ropes.  The “ab work” you think you’re doing becomes hip flexor work, exacerbating the problem.  Groin soreness after crunches is a sure sign you missed the point. 
ABDOMINALS
photo credit: lyndseydesjardins.com
Proper core development must start with balanced anterior and posterior chains.  Your chest and stomach should equalize your back and butt.  Since the gluteals are typically the weakest link (AND attached to your legs which carry you around all day), butt strengthening is core strengthening.   Fix anterior pelvic tilt, and then engage in getting baby some back.

TO REVIEW:

  • Dysfunctional butt = dysfunctional core
  • The hip flexors control the gyroscope of a pelvis
  • Anterior pelvic tilt leads to ab and butt death

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