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Low Back Pain and Weak Gluteals Part 2  

Welcome to part II of a three part series about weakness in the gluteal muscles and the relationship to low back pain . In part I  I discussed what can mechanically happen in the body when the Gluteus Medius presents weak. This blog will outlines the imbalances that can occur when the Gluteus Maximus, the largest of the gluteal  muscles, is weak or inhibited. 

Second picture shows what happens when the hamstrings predominant. 

The Gluteus maximus ( GMax) is a powerful hip extensor responsible for getting you up out of a chair and propelling you through space when running or jumping . If your hip flexors ( the muscles in front of your hip- rectus femoris , iliopsoas, and anterior fibers of the adductors )are short , perhaps from spending much of the day sitting ,  your Gmax can become inhibited and weak. Plus to get the leg sufficiently extended with tight hip flexors the pelvis has to roll forward in an anterior rotation. This positioning causes the hamstrings ( the muscles down the back of your thigh) to predominate which in turn sends the femur into the anterior hip capsule.   Potentially causing anterior hip pain .

Sacrum during gait


When walking the two pelvic halves work in opposition. While one rolls anterior the other rolls posterior relatively. The sacrum , the bone at the end of the spine and between the two pelvic halves rotates and side bends to accommodate the opposing movements of the pelvic halves  and the lumbar spine counter rotates to balance the system out. If one side of the pelvis is stuck in anterior rotation (as described above )the other  pelvic half may posterior rotate farther to try and create balance. This increased motion between the sacrum and the lumbar spine puts undue stress on the lumbar discs potentially creating injury and nerve compression .



Stretching the hip flexors is an important part to rebalancing but also needs to be accompanied with gluteus maximus re-training that teaches proper recruitment .

At Mongoose Bodyworks in NYC soho we teach clients to balance their low back and pelvic musculature to achieve and maintain a pain free body. Contact us for an appointment today! or 212 431 8377. We are located at 594 Broadway #904 New York City, Soho, New York 10012

Halle Clarke 

2nd Generation Master Pilates Instructor

Pilates is not a substitute for medical treatment . Severe and sudden pain should be initially evaluated by a medical professional before embarking on an exercise or neuro-muscular re-patterning program .