Have you ever rolled your ankle? If you have, it’s likely your glutes on the same-side hip have altered neurologically, turning down your glute medius strength like a night light on low.
There have been multiple studies showing that glute activity is inhibited after an ankle sprain. It's one reason why many athletes end up with a knee injury after coming back from an ankle injury. Many of our clients that participate in sports and rolled their ankles frequently still have a tough time firing their glutes on the side where they have had multiple sprains.
So, the question now is how do you know if your gluteus medius (a key lateral stabilizer) is working for you or not?
* Your knee might be feeling off track on the same-side hip.
* Going up stairs may feel shakier or more difficult than usual.
* You are having a tough time balancing on one leg.
* When performing a squat or lunge your knee buckles inward.
Here are some suggestions for how to alleviate this issue:
• Roll your hip flexor muscles, especially the TFL, with a foam roller. These muscles like to dominate the glutes, and they are often tight. Rolling will help you activate the gluteus medius, which helps with keeping our knees from bowing in too much.
• Perform exercises for the hip and torso in multiple planes.
• See a MAT (muscle activation technique) specialist to evaluate your neuromuscular system. An MAT specialist can pin down the origin and insertion of specific muscles and activate them, which helps strengthen the weak muscle immediately.
• Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Our neuromuscular system likes being fueled properly.
Daniel Lucas is one of the co-founders of Nimble Fitness, a premier health and wellness company located in New York City, which has been in business for over nine years. A strength and conditioning expert with numerous certifications, Daniel’s also a holistic lifestyle coach who has guided thousands of clients, from actors to schoolteachers to CEOs, to live healthier lives.