OK, since I enjoy talking about function and biomechanics lets talk about how to turn on your butt!  Thought that might get someones attention.  Any way, the Gluteal/hip/ butt muscles are the “powerhouse” muscles.  We call them the big house or the cannon.  The first thing to do before “shooting” the cannon is to “load” the cannon.  In function this simply means you need to efficiently load (eccentrically)the gluteus muscles in order to effectively unload or more forcefully create a concentric contraction.  During the loading or pronation phase ( front foot hits the ground in lunge or gait)

   the function of the gluteus muscles (max, min and med) is to eccentrically control hip flexion in the sagittal plane, hip adduction in the frontal plane and femoral/hip internal rotation.  If you look at an anatomy picture of the gluteus maximus you will notice that the fiber orientation is primarily in the transverse plane.  This baby was designed for femoral/hip rotation (a significant component of lower extremity pronation)

The gluteus attaches proximally to the saccrum and the illiac crest and distally to the greater trochanter and blends with the tensor fascia latae (TFL) to form the illiotibial band.  The ITB attaches distally to the anterior/lateral aspect of the tibia.

So, for example, when you are walking and your foot hits the ground and begins to pronate, the calcaneus everts causing the tibia to advance forward and internally rotate (see “When Foot Hits Ground” post).  This creates a quick “pull” on the ITB, which creates a quick stretch on the gluteus thereby stimulating the butt to contract.  This is further accentuated by the femoral internal rotation that also eccentrically lengthens the gluteus maximus.  Remember that neurologically a muscle responds to a quick stretch (eccentric load) by concentrically contracting. Therefore, if one has limited calcaneal eversion (after ankle injury or immobilization) they will not be able to effectively and efficiently turn on the butt which leads to compensation and further problems.  There in lies the beauty of function!

 

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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Comments
  1. Adam says:

    good stuff Kolba. Put in terms folr all to understand. Thanks for all you do. AB

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