The Most Common Weakness in Athletes and How to Fix it!

Weak glutes are just way too common, and they could very well be holding you back from hitting PRs in nearly every lift, as well as metcon performance. Glutes are used in virtually every movement we do, and yet, for some unfortunate reason, they are the most common suspects for weaknesses, deficiencies or imbalances.

Glutes are pertinent to correct hip function. Keeping the hip and back stable, and moving correctly is a part of it’s role. You can imagine that a weak glute or dysfunctional glute would lead to a whole chain reaction of instabilities and pain development elsewhere, as a result.

Using straps to perform a Roman Deadlift


  • Painful knees: glute medius is responsible for keeping the femur in the correct position in internal/ external rotation
  • Bad mechanics in basic movements: if you have trouble maintaining correct hip alignment through a squat at sub-max intensities.
  • Weak or unstable ankles and knees: at the end of the chain of the lower limb mechanics, an unstable hip will cause instability in the knees and/ or ankles.
  • Back pain: if the glutes are unable to fire to maintain posture, the lower back ends up working a double shift, causing pain in a shorter than usual time span.
  • Chronically tight hip flexors: these are the antagonist muscles of the glutes. They work to flex the hip while the glutes extend and rotate the hip. If you are constantly experiencing


Glutes should be working constantly to make sure the hip is functioning correctly.

Glutes and Running

As mentioned above, the glutes extend the hip. In running, the entire body is working as a mechanical unit to use as much momentum as possible to move the body forward. Within this, the role of the glutes is to extend the hip in order to propel the other foot forward. In a person with weak glutes, the hip extensors are not doing their job and so the hip flexors on the opposite leg have to do more work to draw the leg forward. Similarly, the same side lower back will often feel the strain as it adapts for the weakness.

Running just a short distance with weak glutes can quickly lead to back and/ or knee pain. Consider how many repetitions are required when running just a few kilometers. A 5 km run without the proper muscles firing is 1000’s of steps and a short 30 minutes can lead to a great deal of pain.

Glutes and Strength Training

The action of the hip is generated and stabilized by the glutes. Glute med extends and abducts the leg away from the body, glute max extendes the leg posteriorly and gluteus minimus stabilizes and performs internal rotation. These muscles are therefore the main agonists during deadlifts, squats, lunges, kettlebell swings, and others. The glute holds the posterior chain of muscles together. Without it, the muscles of the back are used to extend the body, or the hamstrings take the brunt of the work when knee flexion is also involved.

If you tend to feel general muscle soreness in the quads and hamstrings or back but not as intense in the glutes, this is a good sign that … Read the entire article here!


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