The hip joint is a multi-axial joint, meaning it has the ability to move in three planes of movement. Strengthening the gluteus maximus muscle has been advocated as an integral part of rehabilitation and injury prevention, but how important is this in weight-bearing functional exercises?
Researchers observed a cohort of healthy participants who underwent a 1-week activation programme for gluteus maximus. Pre- and post-training surface electromyography were collected as they performed double- and single-leg squats. Between training sessions participants completed a gluteus maximus activation training programme consisting of isometric exercises with band resistance twice a day, for seven days.
Results showed that gluteus maximus recruitment increased by 57% during a double-leg squat, and 53% in a single-leg squat. Such an activation programme should be implemented into a hip a strengthening programme to facilitate neuromuscular adaptations.
Cannon, J. et al. (2022). Activation training facilitates gluteus maximus recruitment during weight-bearing strengthening exercises. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 63: 102643.