Where did the morning go?
If it wasn’t for the grumble in your belly signaling lunchtime you would still be knee deep in project emails and expense reports. Thankful for your body’s reminder to refuel, you stand up slowly.
Slowly … because one hip has fallen asleep.
You take a moment to shake it awake. As you bend over to get your purse from your desk drawer you feel an ache in your low back, something that has been plaguing you more and more these days. You notice it picking up the dog and carrying the groceries into the house.
Is midlife finally catching up with you? Or is it something more?
Could it be gluteal amnesia?
Yes, gluteal amnesia is a real thing and a real problem.
I did not make up the term. That honor goes to Dr. Stuart McGill. Dr. McGill coined the term gluteal amnesia in reference to people experiencing low back pain because their gluteus muscles aren’t working effectively. When we sit on our backsides too much the glutes get weak and forget their function. Not only can this lead to back pain but it can also contribute to knee pain and loss of balance as well as increasing the risk of injury when you are active.
Want a simple test to see if your glutes are asleep? Check out this video from Ozarks Today for a simple at home test as well as three easy exercises to strengthen your glutes
If you do the test above and you feel it in your hamstrings or low back, try adding these three quick exercises to your warm up or strength workout, 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.
Bridge: Lay on the ground face up. Both knees should be bent and feet flat on the ground. Focus on squeezing your backside and engaging your glutes to lift your hips off the ground. Release and lower back to the ground.
Modified Clam Shell: Lay on the ground on your right side. Keep your right leg straight but bend your left leg so your left foot is lying on the inside of your right knee. Now open up your hips, lifting your left knee off the ground like a clamshell opening. Make sure you’re lifting from your glutes and not rolling your whole body back. Release and repeat.
Mini-band walk: Place a mini band (exercise band) around the upper part of both feet. Stand with both feet together. Then pushing from your right hip, step to the right. (It won’t be a big step.) Repeat for desired repetitions before switching to left side.
Try to move naturally more often throughout your day as well. Getting up off your glutes on a regular basis is a big help. Retest yourself in a few weeks and see if it feels different. More importantly see if you notice your back ache a little less when you pick up the dog or reach for your purse on the way out the office door.