When Half of Your Butt Won't Work
If you've spend a decent amount of time in the squat rack, you've probably had a couple of workouts where one of your glutes just didn't seem to be pulling its weight. It's like your right glute woke up that morning, but your left glute is still snoozing.
We often blame weak muscles or "quad dominance" for our glute woes, but the problem is usually something else altogether. In this case, your sacrum could be out of alignment.
The Sacrum and Glute Activation
Dr. Grove Higgins says:
"Very simply, any joint that a muscle crosses across, it controls. If that joint is dysfunctional, out of alignment, or injured, that muscle will be dysfunctional as well. The glute max crosses across the SI/sacroiliac joint and not only moves the leg but helps to stabilize the pelvis. So, if the sacrum is out of alignment and the SI joint is subsequently dysfunctional, so is the glute max."
So how do you fix this when you can't get in to see your chiropractor right away?
How to Align Your Own Sacrum
- Lie on your back, belly facing up. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet to the ground, hip-width distance. Make sure your feet are in the same plane. Walk your feet together and make sure your big toes touch each other, then walk them back out to hip-width distance.
- Lift your knees to 90 degrees and place one hand on the top of your thigh. With your other hand, grab behind your knee on the opposite leg.
- Isometrically kick into the hand that's behind your knee, and push back into your hand that's on top of your thigh. You must keep your feet and hips even the whole time!
- Hold the isometric contraction for 15 seconds.
- Switch your hands and repeat.
- Bring your feet back to the ground. Place a block, foam roller or rolled up towel between your mid thighs. Isometrically squeeze in on the prop for 15-30 seconds.
You might hear or feel a pop. This is normal as long as it's not accompanied by pain. That was your sacrum/pubic symphysis adjusting. If needed, the process can be repeated. Even if you don't hear or feel a pop, you're helping realign your sacrum.