The top 6 reasons we like hills for training ankle rocker and hip extension

image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caer_Caradoc_hill.jpg

image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caer_Caradoc_hill.jpg

1. Hills do not cost money and are almost always readily available : )

2. Being outside is good for your health

3. Hills do not pull the hip into extension and place a stretch (pull) on the anterior hip musculature including the rectus femoris, iliopsoas and iliacus. This causes a slow stretch of the muscle, activating the muscle spindles (Ia afferents) and causing a muscle contraction via the stretch reflex. This will inhibit the posterior compartment of hip extensors (especially the glute max) through reciprocal inhibition, making it difficult to fire them.

4. A hill does not force your knee into extension, eliciting a stretch reflex in the hamstrings like a treadmill does

5. A hill naturally puts the ankle into dorsiflexion, and, along with active pulling up of the toes, helps you to get more into your anterior compartment and eliminates the tendency of the ankle being pulled into dorsiflexion (like with a treadmill) which would initiate a stretch reflex in the gastroc/soleus and long flexors.

6. The increased hip flexor requirement of going uphill gives you more opportunity to engage the abs before the psoas and rectus femoris/TFL and on the stance phase leg, you can get an increased stretch of those muscles

Tips for picking the right hill and using it to your advantage

  • When just starting out, try and pick an incline that does not exceed the ankle dorsiflexion available to the patient/client

  • It’s OK if it’s uncomfortable, but not if its painful

  • Concentrate on pulling up the toes and dorsiflexing the ankle

  • Squeeze your glute at heel strike and toe off

  • leave your stance phase heel on the ground as long as possible

  • Place your hands on your abs and concentrate on activating them PRIOR to flexing your hip

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#walkinghills #traininganklerocker #thegaitguys # increasinghipextension



A cool paper on taping and reciprocal inhibition.    “Hip extension increased significantly with gluteal taping (p < 0.05) for both walking speeds at late stance phase of walk compared to sham taping and control. The mean absolute difference between gluteal and control conditions for self-selected velocity was 14.2 degrees (95% CI 8.6 to 19.8) whereas the difference between sham and control conditions was 2.0 degrees (95% CI –2.0 to 6.0). Also, for both speeds, step length on the unaffected side increased significantly with gluteal taping compared with either the control or placebo” conditions.     link to full text:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0004951406700629    Aust J Physiother.  2006;52(1):53-6.Gluteal taping improves hip extension during stance phase of walking following stroke. Kilbreath SL ,  Perkins S ,  Crosbie J ,  McConnell J .

A cool paper on taping and reciprocal inhibition. 

“Hip extension increased significantly with gluteal taping (p < 0.05) for both walking speeds at late stance phase of walk compared to sham taping and control. The mean absolute difference between gluteal and control conditions for self-selected velocity was 14.2 degrees (95% CI 8.6 to 19.8) whereas the difference between sham and control conditions was 2.0 degrees (95% CI –2.0 to 6.0). Also, for both speeds, step length on the unaffected side increased significantly with gluteal taping compared with either the control or placebo” conditions. 

link to full text: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0004951406700629

Aust J Physiother. 2006;52(1):53-6.Gluteal taping improves hip extension during stance phase of walking following stroke.Kilbreath SL, Perkins S, Crosbie J, McConnell J.

Welcome to Monday folks and news you can use! Have a patient with weak hip abductors? Here is another great closed chain gluteus medius/ Maximus/minimums exercise we utilize all the time called “"hip helicopters” Try it in yourself, then try it on your patients and clients, then teach others : )

tumblr_nry1l9Sa1q1qhko2so1_1280.png
tumblr_nry1l9Sa1q1qhko2so2_1280.png

How do your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius exercises stack up?

Looks like side planks (DL=dominant leg) and single leg squats scored big, as did front planks and good old “glute squeezes”

Check out this free full text articlehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3201064/

Yes, we know it was surface emg; yes we know they are not necessarily testing functional movements. The EMG does not lie and offers objective data. Note that the one graph is labelled wrong and is the G max, not medius.

Kristen Boren, DPT,1 Cara Conrey, DPT,1 Jennifer Le Coguic, DPT,1 Lindsey Paprocki, DPT,1 Michael Voight, PT, DHSc, SCS, OCS, ATC, CSCS,1 and T. Kevin Robinson, PT, DSc, OCS1 ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF GLUTEUS MEDIUS AND GLUTEUS MAXIMUS DURING REHABILITATION EXERCISES Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2011 Sep; 6(3): 206–223.

tumblr_nqx6p7oa9h1qhko2so1_250.gif
tumblr_nqx6p7oa9h1qhko2so2_400.png

Abs on the UP, Glutes on the DOWN

I had the opportunity to go on my 1st mountain bike ride of the season last Sunday morning. Yes, I am aware it is JUNE, but the snow has finally melted (we had over 7 FEET at arapahoe Basin in May) and you need to understand that I am usually a runner). In the cool morning 44 degree air I was reminded of the importance of my gluteal muscles (rather than just my quads) while climbing a technical hill which was clearly pushing my aerobic capacity. We have the opportunity to perform many bike fits in the office and treat many cycling ailments. We also train and retraing pedal stroke and one of our mantras (in addition to skill, endurance and strength) is “Glutes on the downstroke; Abs on the upstroke”. Meaning use your glutes to extend the hip from 12 to 6 o’clock and use your abs to initiate the upstroke. Quadricep (on the downtstroke) and hamstring dominance (on the upstroke) is something we see often and this mantra often proves useful in the “retraining process”.

I have been a fan of Ed Burkes work (“Serious Cycling” and “Competitive Cycling”) for years and have read (and lectured about) these books many times. In my effort to find a basis in the literature for my mantra, I ran across a paper (1) that seemed to substantiate, at least in part, the mantra. It is a small study looked at elite athletes that explores changes that occur in muscle recruitment as the body fatigues after a sub maximal exercise session.

Their conclusion “The large increases in activity for gluteus maximus and biceps femoris, which are in accordance with the increase in force production during the propulsive phase, could be considered as instinctive coordination strategies that compensate for potential fatigue and loss of force of the knee extensors (i.e., vastus lateralis and vastus medialis) by a higher moment of the hip extensors.”

This makes sense, although may be contradicted by this study (2), which showed LESS gluteal activity at higher mechanical efficiency, with increased tricep surae activity. They conclude “These findings imply that cycling at 55%-60% V˙O(2max) will maximize the rider’s exposure to high efficient muscle coordination and kinematics.”  Although this study looks at mechanical efficiency and the 1st lloks at muscle activity.

Being seated on a bike and having your torso, as well as hips flexed is not the most mechanically efficient posture for driving the glutes, but clinical observation seems to dictate that the less quad and hamstring dominant people are on the down and up stroke respectively, then the more pain free they are. This does not always equte to being the fastest, but it does equate to fewer injuries showing up in the office.

  1. Dorel S1, Drouet JM, Couturier A, Champoux Y, Hug F. Changes of pedaling technique and muscle coordination during an exhaustive exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Jun;41(6):1277-86. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31819825f8.
  2. Blake OM1, Champoux Y, Wakeling JM.  Muscle coordination patterns for efficient cycling. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 May;44(5):926-38. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182404d4b.
The Gluteus Maximus: Part 2. More talk on gluteal function &amp; its place in the gait and running cycle.   
  The gluteus maximus controls:  
   Flexion / Extension: The Sagittal Plane    - the rate and extent of limb flexion at term swing: this is eccentrically controlled   - hip extension: this is concentrically controlled  - hip flexion rate during loading response (eccentric at foot loading):  this will help to control the vertical loading response as the body  mass loads the limb there must be enough eccentric strength of the glute  maximus to control-stop this loading so that hip extension can occur.  This will indirectly assist in control some of knee flexion. 
   Rotation:    - external rotation of the limb: this is concentrically controlled  - assists in controlling the rate of internal rotation: this is eccentrically controlled 
   Pelvic Posturing:   
 - controls rate of Anterior Pelvic Tilt (APT): this is eccentrically  controlled (this is relative hip extension as discussed in Part 1 last  week) 
 - assists in Posterior Pelvic Tilt (PPT): this is concentrically driven 
 - controls sacroiliac joint mobility through FORCE CLOSURE (force  closure is a compression of the joint surfaces by the contraction of  muscles that cross the joint) 
   Divisions:   
 - the sacral division of the gluteus maximus is mostly a pure sagittal plane driver at the hip joint  - the coccygeal division is more of an adductor and internal rotator at the hip joint  - the iliac division is more of an abductor and external rotator at the hip joint 
  The gluteus maximus also has some fascial attachments into the posterior aspect of  the TFL-ITBand.  Remember,  this TFL-ITB complex is an internal rotator of the limb in the gait  cycle. You will recall  that internal rotation is a precursor to hip  extension. The  hip must first, and adequately, internally rotate in the gait cycle  before hip extension can occur. This means that for correct and complete  gluteus maximus contraction to occur in the second half of the stance  phase we must have adequate internal hip  rotation. Without it, all of the things we talked about last week in  our glut maximus blog post cannot occur properly.  Now, back to our attachment disucssion of the  gluteus maximus to the ITB-TFL mechanism.  This attachment allows the  gluteus maximus to produce posterior tension on the ITB-TFL mechanism so  that  it can be anchored to provide it’s internal rotation function on the  limb.  So, here we have a powerful hip extensor and external rotator  providing assisted effects on an internal rotator of the limb. Isn’t the  body a beautiful and amazing thing ! (Well it is. But if you will  recall from the detailed layout above that the gluteus maximus in the  eccentric phase of contraction  functions to control the rate of internal hip rotation you will not be  surprised or enlightened. Rather you will enjoy the brilliance of how an  anchoring muscle is eccentrically giving up length while an agonist  muscle is concentrically taking up length). The gluteus maximus-TFL  relationship….. it is beautiful teamwork in helping, not exclusively of  course, control limb rotation during loading responses. 
 Next time you see a client’s knee drift too far inwards during a  lunge, or walking or running we hope this whole discussion will spring a light bulb moment for  you. You must look at the complex function above in controlling the limb  during pronation and supination. Merely inserting an orthotic is not  going to fix a proximal deficiency, it could modulate it however.  But  wouldn&rsquo;t you want to fix it ? Who wants an orthotic if you don&rsquo;t need one  ? Some people do, don&rsquo;t get us wrong, but many do not.  And then some just need  them temporarily to gain the awareness and skill of posturing and  function and once that is achieved the device and be weaned. 
 Just some more functional anatomy talk on a Monday morning&hellip;&hellip;.from us, The Gait Guys 
 Shawn &amp; Ivo

The Gluteus Maximus: Part 2. More talk on gluteal function & its place in the gait and running cycle.

The gluteus maximus controls:

Flexion / Extension: The Sagittal Plane
- the rate and extent of limb flexion at term swing: this is eccentrically controlled
- hip extension: this is concentrically controlled
- hip flexion rate during loading response (eccentric at foot loading): this will help to control the vertical loading response as the body mass loads the limb there must be enough eccentric strength of the glute maximus to control-stop this loading so that hip extension can occur. This will indirectly assist in control some of knee flexion.

Rotation:
- external rotation of the limb: this is concentrically controlled
- assists in controlling the rate of internal rotation: this is eccentrically controlled

Pelvic Posturing:

- controls rate of Anterior Pelvic Tilt (APT): this is eccentrically controlled (this is relative hip extension as discussed in Part 1 last week)

- assists in Posterior Pelvic Tilt (PPT): this is concentrically driven

- controls sacroiliac joint mobility through FORCE CLOSURE (force closure is a compression of the joint surfaces by the contraction of muscles that cross the joint)

Divisions:

- the sacral division of the gluteus maximus is mostly a pure sagittal plane driver at the hip joint
- the coccygeal division is more of an adductor and internal rotator at the hip joint
- the iliac division is more of an abductor and external rotator at the hip joint


The gluteus maximus also has some fascial attachments into the posterior aspect of the TFL-ITBand. Remember, this TFL-ITB complex is an internal rotator of the limb in the gait cycle. You will recall that internal rotation is a precursor to hip extension. The hip must first, and adequately, internally rotate in the gait cycle before hip extension can occur. This means that for correct and complete gluteus maximus contraction to occur in the second half of the stance phase we must have adequate internal hip rotation. Without it, all of the things we talked about last week in our glut maximus blog post cannot occur properly. Now, back to our attachment disucssion of the gluteus maximus to the ITB-TFL mechanism. This attachment allows the gluteus maximus to produce posterior tension on the ITB-TFL mechanism so that it can be anchored to provide it’s internal rotation function on the limb. So, here we have a powerful hip extensor and external rotator providing assisted effects on an internal rotator of the limb. Isn’t the body a beautiful and amazing thing ! (Well it is. But if you will recall from the detailed layout above that the gluteus maximus in the eccentric phase of contraction functions to control the rate of internal hip rotation you will not be surprised or enlightened. Rather you will enjoy the brilliance of how an anchoring muscle is eccentrically giving up length while an agonist muscle is concentrically taking up length). The gluteus maximus-TFL relationship….. it is beautiful teamwork in helping, not exclusively of course, control limb rotation during loading responses.

Next time you see a client’s knee drift too far inwards during a lunge, or walking or running we hope this whole discussion will spring a light bulb moment for you. You must look at the complex function above in controlling the limb during pronation and supination. Merely inserting an orthotic is not going to fix a proximal deficiency, it could modulate it however. But wouldn’t you want to fix it ? Who wants an orthotic if you don’t need one ? Some people do, don’t get us wrong, but many do not. And then some just need them temporarily to gain the awareness and skill of posturing and function and once that is achieved the device and be weaned.

Just some more functional anatomy talk on a Monday morning…….from us, The Gait Guys

Shawn & Ivo

READY

Great Gait: You don’t see this that often

Great gait brought to our attention by one our readers; one his questions was how he had such great “kick back” traveling at the speed he was traveling at. 

 

Here is an efficient gait:  note he mid foot strikes (you may need to watch it a few times to see it) close to under body and does not over stride; he has great hip extension, and a forward lean at the ankles; even arm swing (note elbows do not go forward of and wrists do not go behind body). It all adds up!

So what causes such great hip extension? Largely 2 factors: forward momentum and glute (all 3; max, med and min) activation. From the last post and EMG studies, we know the glute max contracts at initial contact (foot stance) through loading response (beginning of mid support) and then again at toe off to give a last “burst”; the gluteus medius and minimus contract during most of stance phase. initially to initiate internal rotation of the femur (a requisite for hip extension);  the former to keep the pelvis level and assist in extension and external rotation during the last half of stance phase to assist in supination and creating a rigid lever to push off of. This is, of course, assisted by the opposite leg in swing phase.

Forward lean and momentum move the axis of rotation of the hip behind the center of gravity, assisting the glute max to extend and prepare the lower limb for the bust at push off. The stance limb, now in external rotation, makes it easier to access the sacral (especially) and iliac fibers of the glute max and the posterior fibers of the gluteus medius.

What a orchestration of biomechanics resulting here, in a symphony of beautiful movement.

The Gait Guys. Bringing you great gait, when available…..

Gait: When is the last time you used the swear words &ldquo;closed kinetic chain&rdquo; ?   How well do you understand your Gluteus Maximus ?    
 These are just some fragmented, early morning, mental ramblings about the genius of the body. We are sure to follow up with more glute talk in time. 
 When the foot is engaged with the ground one of the major functions of the gluteus maximus is to draw the pelvis into posterior rotation (with some assistance of some other regional muscles of course). The pelvis is extending on the femur through the hip joint axis.  If the foot is off the ground one would call this hip extension. But when the foot is on the ground, it is still hip extension, however our mental reference must change. This motion we have described, when the foot has purchase on the ground, is what happens when we return upwards from a squatted position (see ! it is still hip extension). You may find it a brain twister to look at the qluteus maximus also as a rotator of the pelvis away from your foot progression direction.  Meaning, we think of the gluteus maximus also as an external rotation generator but when the foot is ground engaged contraction of the G. Max spins our pelvis (and connected torso) away. 
 
 Go ahead, stand on your right foot and contract your glute maximus. Which way does your body rotate ? 
 
 So, when contracted, if the right foot is on the ground the body pelvis-torso will spin to the left. 
 
 So, how do we use our glutes to help us move forward ?  
 
 Well, this is a complicated chain of events and this was not the purpose of our ramblings today.  This muscle does not work in isolation. Might we just say that there is an opposite swing leg moving forward into flexion which helps to redirect that spin into a sagital progression. Go ahead, stand on that right foot again, contract the glute maximus and note the left rotation, but now add the left forward hip flexion placing the left foot into forward progression.  Do you feel that torque and compression through the right hip, core and spine ? Do you have enough core strength to not prostitute the pelvic neutral posturing ? Did you drop into an anterior pelvis tilt (APT) ? Go ahead now, add the anti-phasic motion of contralateral arm swing just to add some more complex rotation to the picture.  Are bells and whistles going off about some of your clients problems ? You might want to go back and re-read our work on Arm-Leg swing now.  (click here).  We plan to build on these concepts in the very near future &hellip;.. keep up with us, be ready ! 
 There was alot going on here in what we just did. More on this another day, time to go put this gait stuff to our Friday patients. That is right, we just don&rsquo;t talk about this stuff, we live it.  Remember, unless your patients, clients and athletes wheeled themselves into your facility &hellip;&hellip; they walked in via the gait cycle.  Know your stuff. 
 Have a great weekend peeps 
 Shawn &amp; Ivo

Gait: When is the last time you used the swear words “closed kinetic chain” ? How well do you understand your Gluteus Maximus ?

These are just some fragmented, early morning, mental ramblings about the genius of the body. We are sure to follow up with more glute talk in time.

When the foot is engaged with the ground one of the major functions of the gluteus maximus is to draw the pelvis into posterior rotation (with some assistance of some other regional muscles of course). The pelvis is extending on the femur through the hip joint axis. If the foot is off the ground one would call this hip extension. But when the foot is on the ground, it is still hip extension, however our mental reference must change. This motion we have described, when the foot has purchase on the ground, is what happens when we return upwards from a squatted position (see ! it is still hip extension). You may find it a brain twister to look at the qluteus maximus also as a rotator of the pelvis away from your foot progression direction. Meaning, we think of the gluteus maximus also as an external rotation generator but when the foot is ground engaged contraction of the G. Max spins our pelvis (and connected torso) away.

Go ahead, stand on your right foot and contract your glute maximus. Which way does your body rotate ?

So, when contracted, if the right foot is on the ground the body pelvis-torso will spin to the left.

So, how do we use our glutes to help us move forward ?

Well, this is a complicated chain of events and this was not the purpose of our ramblings today. This muscle does not work in isolation. Might we just say that there is an opposite swing leg moving forward into flexion which helps to redirect that spin into a sagital progression. Go ahead, stand on that right foot again, contract the glute maximus and note the left rotation, but now add the left forward hip flexion placing the left foot into forward progression. Do you feel that torque and compression through the right hip, core and spine ? Do you have enough core strength to not prostitute the pelvic neutral posturing ? Did you drop into an anterior pelvis tilt (APT) ? Go ahead now, add the anti-phasic motion of contralateral arm swing just to add some more complex rotation to the picture. Are bells and whistles going off about some of your clients problems ? You might want to go back and re-read our work on Arm-Leg swing now. (click here). We plan to build on these concepts in the very near future ….. keep up with us, be ready !

There was alot going on here in what we just did. More on this another day, time to go put this gait stuff to our Friday patients. That is right, we just don’t talk about this stuff, we live it. Remember, unless your patients, clients and athletes wheeled themselves into your facility …… they walked in via the gait cycle. Know your stuff.

Have a great weekend peeps

Shawn & Ivo

Not another Cross over runner ! Yup, and some new pearls on the topic.

Watch this video (and we will post her second video shot from the side in a separate blog post) so you can see some of the components we will talk about today.

Quite often in the Cross over gait the runner has great difficulty getting into the glutes (max and medius) effectively.

In this video today from Runblogger, we see yet another runner who is lacking skill and strength in the appropriate muscles and patterns to run efficiently.

  1. In this video it is clear that she has the classic Cross-Over stride flaw. This video is nice because there is a line present to support our cause, the feet at basically falling on a line instead of below the hips. We see the typical far lateral foot strike in this runner that is classic for Crossing over.  This more lateral strike, even though it is a nice midfoot strike (see the side video shot in the other video of her we post), causes pronation to occur quicker and longer than normal and can create an abductory twist when the heel departs from the ground. However, we do not see the abductory twist like we saw in the Lauren Fleshman videos.  Why not ? because this runner has the foot progression angle at zero, perhaps negative 5 degrees (what we are saying is that she is toe’d-in). This is appears to be from her having mild internal tibial torsion. And a negative foot progression angle will help hold the arch through pronation and in this case is protecting from the abductory twist of the foot at heel rise. There is most likely a forefoot varus here as well (note the inversion at strike). Most likely it is functional; she appears to have inadequate motion in the rear and midfoot, so the pronation must occur somewhere and we see it here in the forefoot.

 Pretty cool to see how a subtle change in one’s anatomy can play out differently.  Go back and watch the Fleshman video blog of weeks ago and watch for the abductory twist of the feet.

2. In this runner, what we really wanted to discuss however is the poor motor control of the gluteus medius and maximus (maximus will be in #3). We can clearly see in this video that during all phases of stance, the pelvis is dipping on the contralateral side. This downward drop is creating a greater gluteus medius lever arm and thus greater demand on the gluteus medius, and in this case a failed attempt (if the opposite hip were hiked, the lever arm would be reduced and put lesser demand on the gluteus medius, less fatigue factor). New to this concept ? Click here.Think now about the reciprocal pairing with the adductors and you could understand why her adductors are probably shortened as well; the adductor magnus especially, as it has a secondary motion of external rotation, and it is probably being substituted here to help decelerate the internal spin of the lower extremity

As the longer lever pairs with the body weight factor, there is a vertical descent of the body and this must be made up by eccentric control of the gluteus maximus (the option of optimal choice) or it is dumped into the quadriceps and they are expected to cope with the body mass descent by slowing knee flexion.  She appears to be opting for the later, not a good choice.

3. Now switch over to the frontal plane (side) shot of this runner in the other blog post. Can you clearly see that the quadriceps are being asked to control the decent? Look at the vertical oscillations of her body. Look at the amount of knee flexion occuring at impact.  It is clear that the gluteus maximus is not dampening this drop and this can be seen by the amount of hip flexion noted here. We always think of the glutes as extensors but in gait they are huge dampeners of the rate and degree of hip flexion.

This is very inefficient running.  She could be much more effective and faster if she works on these issues.  If she can just pair improved gluteus medius to control the frontal plane pelvis drop, and improve the maximus to control the sagittal drop there would be more energy to move forward and less wasted into overcoming the ground reaction forces (which she is maximizing) as dictated by Newton’s Laws.

are we the only ones seeing this stuff ?  hopefully you are starting to get real good at this stuff. 

The Gait Guys, saving one runners life (and hips and knees) one day at a time.

Shawn and Ivo

Beautiful Glutes: Part 2     
 We are going to get a little techie here. Hang in there! 

   EMG data   
 There are a paucity of studies on gluteal function during gait, but here is what is out there. 
 The upper and lower portions of the glute max shows activity at initial contact and near the end of swing phase, the middle portion additionally just before and after pre-swing.  The glute max does not appear to be a postural control muscle, nor is it utilized in static one leg standing, except when a large load is imposed  When the center of gravity of the whole body is grossly shifted, the gluteus maximus becomes engaged. The glute max, along with the vasti also assist in deceleration of the body during the first half of stance. 
 The gluteus medius and minimus appear to play a much more substantial role in propulsion and stabilization during normal gait, contracting from terminal swing to preswing, maximally during early midstance, to prevent contralateral drop of the pelvis. The anterior fibers of both appear important for gait, as they assist the external obliques in forward progression of the pelvis on the side oppposite the stance phase leg, in addition to supplying coronal plane stabilization. A brief burst of activity in midswing assists in medial rotation of the thigh. Gluteus maximus fuction can be affected by    altered biomechanics and the g   luteus medius commonly affected by postural faults. 
 Wow, betcha didn&rsquo;t know that! Stay tuned for part 3! 
 We remain&hellip;The Gait Guys.

Beautiful Glutes: Part 2

We are going to get a little techie here. Hang in there!

EMG data

There are a paucity of studies on gluteal function during gait, but here is what is out there.

The upper and lower portions of the glute max shows activity at initial contact and near the end of swing phase, the middle portion additionally just before and after pre-swing.  The glute max does not appear to be a postural control muscle, nor is it utilized in static one leg standing, except when a large load is imposed  When the center of gravity of the whole body is grossly shifted, the gluteus maximus becomes engaged. The glute max, along with the vasti also assist in deceleration of the body during the first half of stance.

The gluteus medius and minimus appear to play a much more substantial role in propulsion and stabilization during normal gait, contracting from terminal swing to preswing, maximally during early midstance, to prevent contralateral drop of the pelvis. The anterior fibers of both appear important for gait, as they assist the external obliques in forward progression of the pelvis on the side oppposite the stance phase leg, in addition to supplying coronal plane stabilization. A brief burst of activity in midswing assists in medial rotation of the thigh. Gluteus maximus fuction can be affected by  altered biomechanics and the g luteus medius commonly affected by postural faults.

Wow, betcha didn’t know that! Stay tuned for part 3!

We remain…The Gait Guys.