Research Review: Evidence of Altered Corticomotor Excitability Following Targeted Activation of Gluteus Maximus Training in Healthy Individuals

By Jacky Au PhD, CPT

Edited by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Original Citation:

Fisher, B. E., Southam, A. C., Kuo, Y. L., Lee, Y. Y., & Powers, C. M. (2016). Evidence of altered corticomotor excitability following targeted activation of gluteus maximus training in healthy individuals. Neuroreport, 27(6), 415-421. ABSTRACT


The gluteal complex (gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus) is often targeted during lower-extremity rehabilitation and strengthening programs. Specifically, activation exercises are recommended for the gluteus maximus (GM) to preferentially recruit the muscle, increase neuromuscular drive and enhance recruitment (1). The goal of this 2016 study from the University of Southern California was to study the neural changes associated with GM activation exercise. Using combined neurostimulation and electromyography (EMG) methods, researchers found increased excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the GM after intervention. This may imply that GM activation is effective in part due to enhanced corticomotor adaptations.

Image of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) By Baburov - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Study Summary

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