Nov 24, 2014

Movie Monday: An Easy Way To Assess for Glute Inhibition

Howdy Folks. Today's video is a simple test that I use when assessing gluteus maximus function of my patients.  I learned this test from Jay Dicharry, MPT, SCS, the author of Anatomy For Runners and he also taught it as part of his Healthy Running seminar.

It is a simple bridge test that looks at the ability to activate the glute max as the primary hip extensor, with a minor contribution from the hamstrings, and a neutral lumbar spine. We don't want to see lumbar extension when trying to extend the hip. A proper activation strategy with this test is not a "good thing" to see but instead should be viewed as a necessity for athletes and perhaps the non-athletic population as well. 

A person could have "strong glutes" and still fail this test if they don't know how to use them. Additionally, if a person failed this test and had weak glutes with manual muscle testing then it may be a waste to prescribe glute strengthening exercises when in reality they need to work on activation first.

Lets Recap:

What We Do Want To See/Feel:

  • Neutral Lumbar Spine
  • Stable Lumbopelvic control
  • Patient to "feel" the effort come from their butt/glutes and hamstrings, Jay taught us 70% - 30% contribution, respectively.
  • An ability to hold steady for 20-30 seconds with easy. It may be beneficial to do this for reps as well.

What We Don't Want to See/Feel:

  • Hamstring "Cramping"
  • Lumbar Extension
  • Patient to "feel" the effort come from their low back
  • Tilting/dipping/rotation of the pelvis when transitioning from double leg to single leg.
  • Excessive Effort and/or Labored Breathing
  • An inability to maintain the bridge position or excessive shaking while doing so


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