The strong gluteus maximus, also known as the gluteus, is made up of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. It forms the buttocks. The gluteus maximus aids in protecting the back, abdominal, and other supporting muscles and tissues from harm.
Strong gluteals support lumbopelvic stability, which means they keep your pelvis and lower back in the right positions and shield you from strains and injuries. As well as improving daily activities like walking, running, and sitting, they also help with athletic performance.
More frequently than you might imagine, gluteus imbalances occur. There isn’t a lot of quality content on this subject on the internet. In fact, a Google search for the term “gluteus imbalance” turns up several links on the first page to some of the most popular physical fitness forum topics – but no comprehensive answers. Because the solutions are complex, experts in physical fitness steer clear of this subject.
This article will first go over the reasons why gluteus imbalance occurs before going over potential remedies.
Related: How to Get Rid of Square Buttocks—7 Best Exercises – Womens Health Tips
What is Glute Imbalance?
A glute imbalance happens when your right or left glute is bigger, stronger, or more dominant. Unbalances in the glute are common and occur naturally in human anatomy. No one has a perfectly symmetrical body in any area, including the glutes.
It is actually normal to have one side of your glutes that activates more or sits higher than the other side when squatting or to shift slightly to the side that is more dominant. You probably have a glute that works harder and is stronger than the other, just like you prefer one hand, arm, or leg to the others.
If you are right-handed and jump off your left leg most of the time, your left hip extensor will be stronger than your right hip flexor and vice versa.
Reasons: Causes of Gluteal Imbalances
Lack of Activities
When considering the human body, we know that some muscles are more prone to inhibition than others, and the glutes are one of these “easily-inhibited” muscles. Several decades ago, physical therapists such as Vladimir Janda noticed that the glutes are quite prone to inhibition, and in the last decade strength coaches for professional teams began to notice that their athletes’ glutes were not functioning optimally.
Major propulsion muscles include the glutes. Powerful locomotion is produced by them. One will slow down and allow their body to heal if their glutes are inhibited. In the old days, if you were injured and had to walk with a cane for the rest of your life, you would not have lived very long. Therefore, this is a smart tactic from the perspective of evolutionary survival.
Reduced glute activation may follow an ankle sprain. Signals are sent to inhibit other muscles involved in motion, including the glutes, when you experience pain in one area of your body. This is a defense mechanism the body has to stop further harm.
Your movement patterns will be altered by these modifications, which may result in muscular imbalances in your glutes and other places. A glute imbalance may result from improper post-injury rehabilitation.
Guidance: How to Fix Glute Imbalance?
How is glute imbalance corrected? You guessed it—exercise! Specific exercises focused on your weaker glute will do the trick. Below are some solid unilateral exercises to include in your workout. To help balance things out, make sure to increase your work volume (do more reps, more frequently) on your side that needs more work.
How to do it: For the side that is weaker, perform three sets of 12–15 repetitions, with a day of rest in between.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Lunge forward while holding a bench behind you. Lie the leg on the bench whose glute is weaker. (You should still be able to see those toes!) Lunge down with the opposing leg at a 90-degree angle.) while squeezing the weaker glute. Make sure your glute is doing the majority of the work by standing up and maintaining a straight posture.
Cook Hip Lift
Despite the awkwardness of the exercise, Perkins says it’s excellent for the mind-body connection. Really focus on activating/squeezing the planted leg’s glutes at the top of the movement.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor next to your butt. Hold with both arms while bending one knee into your chest. The beginning place is here. Drive up your hips while keeping them parallel to the ceiling by pressing your heel into the ground. From your knee to your shoulders, you want your body to be in a straight line. Continue by controlling your descent back down. Repeat the process on the other side.
Isometric Contractions for the Weaker Glute
Perform a ton of extra work for the weaker glute as your first course of action in an effort to correct a gluteal imbalance. You must create a strong mind-muscle connection (MMC) with the troublesome glute. Isometric contractions are a fantastic strategy for achieving this. Here is a good series to perform on a daily basis:
- 10 sets of 3-second maximum contractions with the weaker glute from a standing position
- 10 sets of 3-second maximum contractions with the weaker glute from a seated position
- 10 sets of 3-second maximum contractions with the weaker glute from a prone position
These isometric exercises don’t need special equipment, so you can perform them anywhere. In actuality, you are able to complete them while working. Unless someone is directly staring at your butt, nobody will likely notice. Do these repeatedly throughout the day without hesitation.
Stand tall with your feet together and core engaged. Right knee bent, raise your right foot off the ground. You will have a slight bend in your left (standing-leg) knee, but not a locked one. Raise your right hip a few inches toward the ceiling while keeping your shoulders level and square to the front. Repeat after lowering your hip back down to a level position. the opposite side with the same action.
If you tend to lose your balance, touch your toe to the ground in between hip hikes, Perkins says.
Single Leg Romanesque Weightlifting
Start standing, putting weight on the side of your glute that you are aiming to strengthen. Bend forward and hinge at the hips as your opposite leg extends straight back. For one repetition, extend back up to a standing position.
While hip imbalances are common and largely unavoidable, they can occasionally be brought on by injuries and poor movement habits, which can and should be corrected to stop further issues and pain. To decide which strategy is best for you, consult a healthcare professional. You should be able to solve the issue without any trouble with a little assistance and perseverance.
How to Tell If You Have Uneven Glutes?
The split squat. A stationary lunge in which you move up and down without moving your feet, the exercise “really highlights functionality and strength in each leg individually,” According to Perkins, if your right leg is forward and you feel particularly awkward or unsteady, for example, that may be a sign that your right glute is weak.
Is It Normal to Have Uneven Glutes?
However, it’s normal for glutes to be uneven, and oftentimes the glute on your dominant side will be stronger and firmer. If your difference is extreme, it might be the result of poor exercise technique, bad posture, or restricted mobility. Thankfully, there are methods for balancing your glutes.