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April 2016
Getting the Max Out of Your Gluteus Maximus
Glutes are important in all lower extremity movement. But half of us are walking around with our glutes turned off. The problem is "sitting disease." Even if we are active, we probably sit a good chunk of the workday. We may be working, but our glutes are on vacation.    
The primary role of the glute is to move the leg back. When glutes are not firing, hamstrings take over. That's a problem. That's when you start to see chronic hamstring tightness, lower back pain and more.   
So if the glutes are important for healthy movement, and if they are asleep on the job, what do you do? More bridging, or more squats with kettle balls? Probably not. 
Dozens of studies have examined what exercises are best to strengthen gluteal muscles. Bridging is one of the best. Here's the problem: the studies were all done using healthy subjects.    
So if you have a history of problems, you can bridge all day long and not activate the right muscles. Those weak glutes might be what got you in a hot mess in the first place.
Here's what you do: 
It starts with posture... and breathing. Sound familiar? ( If you're lost, click here to check out the last 3 newsletters to get up to speed ). In a nutshell, neutral spinal posture fosters lower costal breathing. Lower costal breathing activates the pelvic floor. A responsive pelvic floor acts as an anchor from which you move your legs. 
And posture is not just important for breathing; any time you tuck your bottom, you turn off the glutes - so stick that tail out! No butt winks!
The following video gives you several ways to start strengthening your glutes: 

Here's the caveat: evaluating your own movement patterns 
is really tough. And getting to the root of the problem often takes a trained eye. So if this video doesn't work for you, our therapists have more tricks up their sleeves, and we' re always happy to help. 

Meet Larry - A Great Addition to the ALTA Team!
Larry Meyer PT, DPT has a passion for analyzing movement. That's why he became certified as a biomechanical specialist for the lower quarter, and why he now teaches medical bike fitting to other PTs around the country. To say that Larry is enthusiastic about biomechanics is an understatement. He strives to help all his patients move with ease and return to active lifestyles. His training is extensive, his experience vast and his commitment to helping people creates the perfect combination to  make  magic happen
Bachelor of Science : Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, 1997
Doctor of Physical Therapy : Pacific University, Portland, OR, 2004
Certification : Advanced Biomechanics of the Lower Quarter (6-mo. program)
Level I Certification : Functional Dry Needling, 2015
Member : American Physical Therapy Association, Sports & Orthopedic Section

"Poor movement patterns are one of the root causes of i njury, and getting people to feel better and perform better starts w ith teaching them how to move better. Learning skilled movement empowers people and restores quality to their lives. That's what makes PT a great profession."    

Schedules are open through September
Please call to schedule ahead  if you haven't already done so