Over Activation of Gluteals aka "Butt Gripping"
Are you a Butt Gripper???
Are you using your gluteal muscles (big butt muscles) too much? This is something we see all too often in the clinic. This can contribute to hip pain, groin pain and lower back pain just to name a few and also increases the load on your hip joint which can contribute to the early development of hip osteoarthritis.
Why is this bad?
If you read my last post you will know that the main job of the glutes is to produce force (i.e propel you forward to walk or run, or stand you from a chair). When you are standing still or sitting in a chair your gluteals don't have to work too hard (they are not a postural muscle). If the are really active in these positions they are working inefficiently is changging your hip and lower back mechanics & putting more load through areas of these joints that are not designed to be. If you do this for lots of your day, lots of your week, month, year - well you get the point, the joints are under excessive load & something will get sore.
How do we know if you are using your glutes too much?
We call this butt gripping and its pretty easy to identify from our end & yours. In standing you will usually be always pulling your pants/ shorts from between your butt cheeks (think Rafael Nadal), and if you feel your glutes they will rock hard. In sitting again they will be hard to feel and yoiu will be sitting with them gripped on.
How to stop it?
Cues work well, In standing think about softening your buttocks, you need to be conscious about doing this, or soften your knees. In sitting the same thing goes, be conscious about softening your buttocks and you can elegantly grab a hold of one buttock cheek at a time and 'scoop' it backwards so you are sitting more on your 'sit bones'. Send me a message if you need me to give you a demonstration of this.
So if you are experiencing some of these symptoms in sitting or standing, or exercises, try these cues.
As always we recommend coming in for a thorough assessment to identify the exact cause of your symptoms and provide you with the best advice & treatment plan.