Spire Injury Clinic

Deactivated/Weakened Gluteus Maximus

Fig 1 Posterior Oblique Sling

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Fig 2 Hip Extension Firing Pattern

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Deactivated/Weakened Gluteus Maximus

The Gluteus Maximus (G Max) is a powerful leg extensor that abducts and laterally rotates the coxal joint. The muscle works in conjunction with the Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) via the thoracolumbar fascia to "brace" the Sacrum in mid stance. This, along with the G Maxs' attachment to the sacrotuberous ligament, helps promote lumbar and Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) stability. The G Max works in the Posterior Oblique Sling, comprised G Max, thoracolumbar fascia and the contralateral Lats, Fig 1. In the hip extension firing pattern, Fig 2, the G Max should initiate second after the hamstrings. As the G Max contracts it applies tension to the sacrotuberous ligament promoting SIJ stability.

So a dysfunction in the G Max can cause over recruitment of any of its' associated muscles. For example,

Over recruitment of the Lats, due to poor G Max activation, can cause a lot of neck and shoulder ache particularly in runners who tend to feel it at the 2-3 mile point.  

In moving up stairs poor G Max function wont allow the hip to abduct and laterally rotate, this will allow the knee to drift inwards causing instability and pain. 

If the G Max fails to fire in hip extension the hamstrings will continue to contract to try and stabilise the SIJ and become overactive.

Below is a week by week guide on how to stretch and exercise to restore normal G Max function in conjunction with your sports massage.

Week 1

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each side

Week 2

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each side

 Week 3 

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Day 1, 5 reps holding position for 5 seconds. Each day increase timing by 5 seconds for a total of 5 days.

Week 4

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each side

Week 5

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each side