I'm suspicious of this "Glute activation" fad

Orphia
Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
"Your glutes need activating": Fad or fact?

It just seems somehow like a typical fad the fitness industry pushes on us to make us feel bad about ourselves and spend more money on gyms, coaching, equipment etc.

You don't need to feel muscles to know they're working.

Surely if you're not using your glutes, you'll fall over? :smile:
«13

Replies

  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    "Your glutes need activating": Fad or fact?

    It just seems somehow like a typical fad the fitness industry pushes on us to make us feel bad about ourselves and spend more money on gyms, coaching, equipment etc.

    You don't need to feel muscles to know they're working.

    Surely if you're not using your glutes, you'll fall over? :smile:

    At the recreational level of exercise that most of us perform (both quantity and performance-wise) it's not hugely necessary to focus on firing the glutes unless you have pain, recurring injury, or some other factor that requires you to examine your form.

    More serious endurance athletes or higher level competitors would likely want to pay attention as a strict focus on form can help with injury prevention and performance improvement.
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,679 Member
    I really don't mind it; seems to get more women into weight lifting (good) & help diminish that stereotype that lifting weights will bulk a women up into some kind of juiced up she-hulk juiced to the gills with androgens
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    "Your glutes need activating": Fad or fact?

    idk . . . somewhere in between? i guess my own annoyance with most of those 'fad' things isn't exactly a fad problem. it's more like the knee-jerk-answer problem. that does annoy me. i suspect people who insta-produce whatever the new thing is of sloppy thinking. and possibly condescension. falling hair? loose tonsils? impacted wisdom teeth? your glutes need activating. or core, or toenails, or whatevers.

    no demonstrable cause-and-effect between those two things? no credible explanation of how it's a thing for whatever took me in there? never mind, we'll say it anyway because hey, active glutes \o/ or toenails, or core or whatever it is.

    it annoys me in that sense. and i guess to me it's mostly a credibility thing. i don't CARE if i come out of an engagement with 'active glutes' if what i went in there for was something else. i resent/suspect it in that kind of way.

    side note: i have the same crankiness about the eat-broccoli fad of a decade ago. *kitten* broccoli.

  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 3,154 Member
    edited April 2018
    As someone who went from nearly 250 to 170 at my lowest and jogged/ran for four years, I can tell you that not activating your glutes isn't very attractive. My wife certainly wasn't a fan of the no butt look!! Now, I do around 500 heavy KB swings a week and low and behold, I have a butt again. I've also switched to rowing from running, something that (at least when you sprint) also uses your glutes a bit. Long distance running uses practically no glutes. Sprinting and biking do but distance running doesn't. Like others have mentioned, if it doesn't cause imbalance issues, it will eventually just start to look pretty unattractive.

    It's another muscle, that's all. I think it's a lot more useful than biceps. That old "curls for girls" saying years ago was an old high school football coach saying which meant curls aren't very useful for athletics but make you look better. I'd argue that working glutes (deadlifts, hip thrusts, heavy KB swings and lunges) are a lot more functional than curls. Glute activation is the female (mostly) version of curling over and over for larger biceps.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    "Your glutes need activating": Fad or fact?

    It just seems somehow like a typical fad the fitness industry pushes on us to make us feel bad about ourselves and spend more money on gyms, coaching, equipment etc.

    You don't need to feel muscles to know they're working.

    Surely if you're not using your glutes, you'll fall over? :smile:

    It's a very real thing. I had sepsis which among other things saps your strength. By the time I was hospitalized, I had back pain to the extent I couldn't walk. Talking to a therapist afterward he explained due to the muscle weakness, my glutes weren't firing (doing what they were suppose to do) and trying to use all the other muscles to try an compensate caused the pain.
  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member
    edited April 2018
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    It's certainly overstated.. like the need for exercises for your "core" (which has incorrectly become a synonym for "abs").
    If you have good form, your glutes are automatically working properly, regardless of whether you feel them. It's sort of like how if you're driving your car, you can be sure the engine is working, even if you don't feel or hear it.
    All it takes to "activate" the glutes is to squeeze your buttcheeks together while standing - no complicated movements on the floor are needed.
    This should be in the Debate forum. :+1:

    I don't know if I'd necessarily equate glute activation to the need for a strong core. The core IMO truly is the foundation for all movement and the stronger it is, the better for performance and injury prevention in all situations. One simply can't work around a weak core.

    Glute activation is a bit more suspect. There's no doubt it can be useful but the magnitude of the benefit is definitely in question. Given our bodies' ability to compensate, it wouldn't seem to be entirely necessary.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    edited April 2018
    Huh, I didn't even know this was a "thing" - clearly my lack of time on instagram has blinded me to what's faddish and what isn't. ;) I guess it makes sense to me that part of strength training is learning muscle awareness, and it makes sense that the body would sometimes lean towards efficiency rather than effectiveness, if that makes any sense at all. I certainly feel stronger and am lifting more (with less knee pain) and running faster after integrating a little regular core and glute work into my strength training, and that's good enough for me. If you don't feel like you need it, don't do it?
  • AmyOutOfControl
    AmyOutOfControl Posts: 1,425 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    "Your glutes need activating": Fad or fact?

    It just seems somehow like a typical fad the fitness industry pushes on us to make us feel bad about ourselves and spend more money on gyms, coaching, equipment etc.

    You don't need to feel muscles to know they're working.

    Surely if you're not using your glutes, you'll fall over? :smile:

    True random story about “glute acitivation” and muscle imbalance— I have a coworker who has been seeing PTs and chiropractor specialists for 6 months. They diagnosed her with muscle imbalance and “week glutes”. She did their PT treatments religiously before running a half marathon. She continued running after the pain set in because she felt it was her fault that the muscles were imbalanced. In other words, she did too much of what she loved and not enough of what they told her to do exercise wise.

    It was terrible to watch. She has arthritis and a meniscus tear in two places. She had surgery last week.

    Moral of that story? If you have bone pain see an actual ortho doctor and don’t ignore it. Your body is trying to you something. Listen to it!