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Side Stepping: Gluteus Medius Reactive Activation

Side Stepping is a reactive activation workout to target the gluteus medius muscles. It is an effective workout to improve balance and core stability and to also prevent injury when increasing strength and intensity of any lower body exercise. With each small side step you perform, you will be engaging the gluteus medius muscles by training them to react and fire quickly to each movement so that your body can stabilize itself. This reactive activation strengthens your entire lower body and improves posture for optimum performance.

Transcript

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This is Brent, President of B2C Fitness, and
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we're doing gluteus medius reactive
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integration, a muscle that has a propensity to get weak in both our lower
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leg dysfunction, as well as our lumbo pelvic hip complex dysfunction. Now,
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before we do this exercise, I'm going to assume that we've already done our
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release, stretching, and isolated activation, that is we have released and
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stretched those muscles that are short and tight, and we have gone ahead and already
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isolated, activated, our gluteus medius. That's going to be with clams, and
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side lying leg raises, and you can check out those videos. The purpose
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of reactive integration, is to go ahead and start getting the gluteus medius to
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be part of more functional movement patterns, at a slightly increased tempo.
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We want to make sure that we don't only have a strong gluteus medius, but a
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gluteus medius that will fire when we need it.
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I'm going to have Steph go ahead and come in, help me demonstrate this
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exercise, a fellow student in the DPT program at Hunter. She's going to go
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ahead and put this band above her knees, now this is a fit loop, you could
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use a resistance band and just wrap it around a couple times. We need to keep mindful
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of our overactive synergists still. Although we've released and stretched
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many of them, we still need to think about what they would do to our form.
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So our overactive synergists for the gluteus medius are quadratus lumborum,
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our TFL, and our piriformis. Now, we can take the quadratus lumborum out pretty
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easily by just making sure that Steph's torso stays nice and vertical. The piriformis
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is not hard to take out either, we just want to make sure that we don't end up
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in an excessive forward lean, or a deep squat position, as our piriformis is the
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primary horizontal abductor of our hip. That is it's our primary horizontal
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abductor here. The further we get into a forward bed, or a deep squat, the more
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likely the piriformis is going to become the primary contributor, and not the
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gluteus medius, so I'm going to have her keep up nice and tall. The TFL is by far the
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hardest muscle to get out of this exercise. We know that this TFL has a propensity
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to become synergistically dominant for a weak gluteus medius. So, first things
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first, I'm going to have Steph make sure that she is pushing with her glute med, that
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is she is pushing with this outside leg, and not reaching this way, to get over
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this way. So, go ahead and take a nice step for me. Good.
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I'm going to have you step back. You might have noticed a little something
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from Steph where her her feet led her knees, your gluteus medius, at least
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the weak fibers of your gluteus medius, are external rotators. Your TFL is an
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internal rotator, so if I let her internally rotate her femur, I'm going to
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get that TFL pretty jacked up. If I get her to externally rotate by keeping her
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feet straight ahead, and then leading with her knees, we get a lot more
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gluteus medius activity. This is why in this case I've put the band above her
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knees to try to queue her to push out against that band. Let's go ahead and
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see that Steph. Good. Feel that a little more in your gluteus medius? Good. The last
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thing that we can do to even increase gluteus medius activity more if that
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hadn't worked for Steph, which it did, that was great, let me have you go
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ahead and step back, since the TFL as a flexor, we can take the TFL out through
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reciprocal inhibition by adding just a little bit of extension. Now I'm not
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going to have Steph take a huge step forward, but if she takes a step that's
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just slightly forward, she'll go a little bit into extension.
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Not quite so much forward, so you're going to step to about where my
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foot is. Good. Go ahead and go back.This time let me have you lead with your
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knees a little bit more. Good. One more time.
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One queue that I like to use when people start reaching a little bit, which
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Steph is doing is, "I want you to barrel your shoulder to me, like you're going to
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knock me over". Good, and then she has to push. Alright, so there you go,
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gluteus medius reactive integration. You saw the form queues to take out all
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of those overactive synergists, being our quadratus lumborum, TFL and piriformis,
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the TFL being the hardest one, and a couple of queues that will help make that