So listen, has a sports medicine professional, personal trainer or coach ever told you that your glute medius (or minimus) is weak, or that you need to strengthen it? Or, that this muscle "weakness" is the realreason you're injured?
If you've heard either of the above, my sincerest advice to you is stop what you're doing and get away from that person as fast as you can.
You might think that's a fairly harsh recommendation, but in my opinion, they are dead wrong.
Amazingly, when various "experts" should know better, I continue to see frequent references to this myth of glute medius "weakness" in a host of different places, online and off. I continue to hear supposed "experts" discuss the importance of that muscle.
In the video below, my partner Dr. Kurt Strecker tells it even straighter, calling the advice to strengthen the glute medius, "complete crap."
My hope is that today's straight talk has spiked your curiosity to learn more. If it has, take a few minutes to watch, look, and listen.
Yes, it is 3 1/2 minutes long which I know might be too longaccording to today's typically short attention spans...but trust me, you won't be sorry you took the time to WATCH IT. It is time to set the record straight.
It was great to see Maryann Martinez in our Gait Analysis Lab! Maryann came back in for a video re-shoot, to see what progress she has made since her last visit. Check out the photo for one example of the super progress she's made! Nice work, Maryann! That picture is worth a thousand words, for sure. You have to admit, that just by looking at it, you can intuitively see how her running is now more powerful, and her risk of injury diminished.
To summarize her results, Maryann is much more stable in left leg stance as evidenced by less drop of her right hip. She's stronger through the glute and entire posterior chain, as evidenced by less cross-over of the left leg - it is now landing more under her left hip, resulting in better "stacking." She's also stronger through the entire hip musculature as evidenced by a "straighter" left leg, e.g. less movement toward the midline of her left knee.
WOW!!! Take a look at this great before and after video!
Triathlete Rich Markowitz came to us for a gait analysis. Among a myriad of things, he learned that improvements to his posture would help him become a more injury resistant and efficient athlete. He did the work, and the changes are remarkable!
Not only is Rich's efficiency and economy much better in his running, but the changes he made are also protecting the long-term health of his back, neck, and cervical spine. As athletes, it's natural that we focus on issues relating to performance, endurance, and speed. But making the kinds of changes Rich has will also benefit his overall well being now and through the years. That's no small thing.
We are always pleased to give a shout out to our amazing athletes who commit to the program and see it through. Great job, Rich! We can't wait to see how you rock the 2012 season!
We are pleased to show you another terrific example of what can happen when an athlete goes through our gait analysis and subsequently adheres to our follow-up strength training program. The triathlete presented in this video made DRAMATIC changes in his ability to run well in only TWO SHORT MONTHS!
This athlete first visited us in late December 2011. He presented poor quality movement and had much weakness, asymmetry, and compensation from years of training and simply living a modern lifestyle (lots of sitting while working hunched over a computer). He was put on our Level 1 Restoration and Foundation training, and he spent the next few months DOING THE WORK. This triathlete worked diligently on the program, and the results prove it.
In the after video you will see a much more stable pelvic girdle, much stronger hips, and glutes. He is leaking far less energy meaning faster performance and less chance of injury. This diligent client knows there is more work to be done, and that he needs to continue his progression to retain the gains he has made, and to get stronger still. But, if he continues on his current trajectory, he will see his performance take off, his durability greatly increase, and risk of injury lessen even more.
Last week we presented a four part series demystifying what gait analysis is, what it isn't, and how it can help athletes identify compensations and dysfunction in their movement patterns. Today, we show you an example of the kind of results we achieve with athletes who go through our gait analysis, and adhere to our follow-up strength training program. Seeing is believing!
To give you some background, the athlete in the video below is a mid-pack competitor who has been competing for nearly 30 years. She has done road races of all distances including marathons, and has competed in more than 80 triathlons from sprint distances to three Ironman races.
This is one strong lady, right? Sure, if you define "strong" as the ability to go out and run 10 miles any day of the week. But this is where most athletes get confused. Someone can have outstanding fitness, yet be far from a complete, functionally-strong athlete working at their true potential.
In fact, this client presented with some of the most severe movement dysfunction we had seen--certainly in the top five of athletes we have worked with. She came to us with the all too familiar litany of loss of efficiency, being stuck in a performance plateau, and cycles of recurring injury.
Our detailed look at her body's quality of movement showed tremendous weaknesses, asymmetries, and compensations from years of training and simply living a modern lifestyle (lots of sitting while working hunched over a computer). As you watch the "before" video you will see outrageous instability and lack of strength causing her to "leak speed" with every footfall on the run. Is that you too? (We'll talk more about the issue of "leaking" speed in upcoming posts.)
Seems almost hopeless? Not in the least.
Our gait analysis allowed us to identify the serious compensations in her movement patterns getting to the ROOT CAUSES of her issues. Her weaknesses and compensations were addressed and treated from a whole body perspective. We put her on a training program of functional strength-building exercises to correct her asymmetries, and build her stability, strength, mobility and flexibility. She adhered to the training with great dedication.
Wen you watch the "after" video, you will see DECADES of dysfunctional movement REVERSED. The effects are so dramatic that another client asked if her "hip drop" was corrected by adding heel lifts in her shoes? Absolutely NOT! What you see is strength and stability BUILT INTO her body. That solid, balanced core is ready to be called upon to support all she wants to achieve in training and racing--not to mention it makes her healthier overall.
This client remains "all in" for the long term and continues to build on her new, great form. She is getting faster and stronger with each passing month.
There is no doubt this dedicated triathlete can go out and conquer any goal she sets--and with a much, much lower risk of injury. She is ready for her performance to soar!