Integrated Glute Activation Exercise

A problem that I see on a regular basis with a lot of athletes at Endeavor is a difficulty controlling lumbar extension and rib positioning, even during more remedial exercises.

The ability to control extension is important for a lot of reasons, but specific to the exercise below, it helps ensure that you’re truly training hip extension (by using your glutes and hamstrings) instead of substituting lumbar extension, using your spinal erectors.

As may be implied by having the longest name ever, the exercise below serves multiple purposes, namely to co-activate the glutes and hamstrings as hip extensors and to engage the core to minimize lumbar extension and maintain “neutral” rib alignment.

With the roller just in front of the knees, the weight of the leg is pushing the roller further away from the hips. As a result, the hamstrings need to engage to prevent the roller from actually moving away from the body.

A simple 2-arm reach would also help facilitate a “ribs down” position with some core engagement, but the band makes it more active and therefore creates a stronger core contraction. This is a strategy we’ll use with a lot of these basic hip/core activation exercises and exercises like Slideboard Hamstring Curls to help teach better alignment.

Although it’s more difficult, the band is actually assisting this positioning, so from a neural-patterning standpoint, it’s actually easier for the brain to choose the right movement strategy with the band. Ideally, the athlete would be able to find this position/control without the band. This is a concept they drill home at the Selective Functional Movement Assessment courses: Sometimes more resistance is a regression from a movement patterning perspective.

Check out the video below (ignore the interruption at 0:13) and let me know if you have any questions.

1-Leg Glute Bridge on Roller w/ Band-Resisted Reach

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
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