All I can think about at the moment is my arse and no, not because I think it looks good although, the size of it can be rather useful in roller derby! I’m obsessing over my butt at the moment because it’s become apparent recently that it’s just not coming to the party where roller derby is concerned, or even where a lot (read: any) of my physical activity is concerned.
Turns out my glutes do pretty much NO work when it comes to stabilising or loading my muscles. I mean, I know they’re important – getting a great plow or a great stance is important in derby, I just wasn’t aware how little they activate. This is completely reducing my derby powers, and this must be rectified!
Whilst some of you reading this will have perfectly toned, awesome, powerful glutes, I’m willing to bet that many beginner derby-ists and anyone who is desk-bound for a living will have similar problems.
It all started because recently we’ve joined forces with a local personal trainer James Quinn, who did some very simple, quick initial testing on us to look at things like alignment, balance, strength and loading. Turns out that a lot of us are loading from our hamstrings and quads, but not getting much glute activation. This can be for a variety of reasons but could seriously limit potential and power.
A quick Google will tell you that this is a well-documented phenomenon, and also something you can train to correct.
I’ve been focusing on doing exercises to allow me to get a real deep full squat using this blog. It turns out that the reason I can’t shoot the duck is nothing to do with my belly getting in the way…
Excessive sitting and modern living tends to lead to tight hipflexors and hamstrings which will limit your ability to fully make use of, and train those butt cheeks. Whilst many of us will get by with using our ramped up derby quads and hams, we could all get more power by loading up our glutes.
Paying special attention to your glutes will not just benefit our beloved sport but for good posture and injury prevention too.
There’s lots of exercises to get them firing, and also initially to see how much they are activating to start with. **
** I’m going to go ahead and throw a disclaimer in and say that I am by no means a certified trainer or even that well educated on this subject so please check in with your own fitness trainers, physios or other health professionals before trying anything stupid ok? Good, now where were we?
Very simple and very effective. When we did this with James and when I’ve done it in the past I immediately get horrendous cramp in my hamstrings. Bad sign! My body is making my hams do ALL of the work. It should be coming from core and glutes.
Great for your abs too!
Burn glutes, burn!
So in summary, check in with your body when you’re skating. How much of the strain is your butt actually taking? Are you using its to the gluteus maximus power!?