“But I do all these squatting motions: wall balls, thrusters, squat cleans, etc.!”

You may think you are building strong gluteal muscles, but many CrossFitters end up being more quad dominant. This can lead to some problems if you aren’t stretching and activating your glutes properly to keep them working along with your quads. I know personally I have neglected my glutes, assuming the things I was programmed to do were enough, but what I should have been doing were extra stretches and glute activation exercises before starting my training for the day.

By neglecting to use and/or activate our glutes, you may find that you will start to have some pains and problems arise in places like your lower back, hips, or down your leg. These pains may be happening because muscles like our Piriformis (gluteal region of lower limb) or Psoas (core muscle that connects your lumbar vertebrae to the femur) are tight (from poor glute activation, of course).

Some things you can do to prevent (or maybe use to start the healing process if it’s too late) these pains include stretching a few times a day (no, not only on Thursdays for ROMWOD!), and also making sure that you focus on glute activation before any activity! Glute activation can be things like glute bridges (extra bonus to add in a 3 count pause at the top), x-band walks, and russian KB swings.  These are easy movements to add into your warm up, and will make sure your glutes are ready to go.

If you need help with stretching, check out this video from SmashweRx! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo3cWlQu7eM

Having strong quads is certainly not a bad thing, but having both strong quads and glutes is even better! Be aware of glute activation, and make sure you are activating them when necessary during certain movements.

-Coach Ali