Jul 212010

In the next post, of our “What To do If Your Glutes Are Weak” series, I want to cover our glute activation exercises and progressions.

After we have foam rolled and stretched the hip flexors, we will then activate the glutes.  It is important to note that although I broke this down into a 3-part series, the time it takes to complete all 3 steps takes about 5-10 minutes.  It is not that long of time considering that during the rest of the day, most athletes and clients are doing activities that can make the dysfunction worse.

Hopefully now since the hip flexors are lengthened, we can now get some quality contraction out of the glutes.  The first exercise we go to is the Double Leg Glute Bridge.  Here we are asking our athletes to squeeze their glutes together to create the action of hip extension.  Some of the coaching cues that we use here include getting our athletes to brace their core which would prevent lumbar extension and driving their heels into the ground.  We will do 10 reps of :03 hold.

Double Leg Glute Bridge

Another exercise that we will do during this phase is the Quadruped Bent Knee Hip Extension.  While in a quadruped position, we are trying to get our athletes to use their glute on one leg to great hip extension.  We don’t want any lumbar extension- just hip extension.  We start with 5 reps on each leg with a :03 hold.

Quadruped Alternating Leg Bent Knee Hip Extension

Ultimately, we always continue to progress to more advanced versions of each exercise for our Glute Activation progressions.  For example, we will progress from the Double Leg Glute Bridge to Cook Hip Lift, to Hands Free Single Leg Hip Extension.  For the Quadruped progressions, we progress to Straight Leg Hip Extension, to Opposite Arm/Leg Extensions, to Resisted Opposite Arm/Leg Extension.  The opportunities to progress and make these more difficult are endless.

It is important to note that these are for activation exercises only.  These are not exercises we would use within a strength training session.  Those exercises would include squatting variations and dead lifting variations to help us strengthen our entire posterior chain including the glutes.  I am a believer that if the glutes aren’t turned on, then the other muscles in the posterior chain will take over and compensate for the weak glute(s).  Thanks for reading!

Also, check out the Interviews page which include some interviews that I have done in audio format and a new recent article that was in the Orange County Register.

Jul 122010

Hey Everyone,
Hope you are doing well and having a great summer. We have been
busy adding a ton of content every week and we wanted to make
sure you are caught up with all of it.

Newest Videos:

Slide Board Progressions- Darryl Nelson:

Three Stage Hip Flexion Progression- Michael Boyle

Soft Tissue Work: Posterior Adductor Magnus- Kevin Neeld

Incorporating The Crossover Step In Speed Training For Hockey-
Sean Skahan

Also, we have posted Matt Nichol’s presentation “Energy Systems
Development for Ice Hockey” from “Second Annual Boston Hockey
Summit and Basketball Symposium”.
Check it out at:

If you want to get the Summit on DVD, including Sean Skahan’s
presentation, go to

Latest Articles:
Managing the End of a Hockey Season- Mike Potenza

Getting Your Athletes On Board Your Bus- Sean Skahan

Why Not Play on the Best Team?- Mike Boyle

Latest Programs:

Upper Body Injury Program- Sean Skahan

Off-Season Conditioning- Mike Potenza

Thanks again to all of you who have been participating on the
Coaches Forum. There have been some great discussions:

Hockey Speed vs. Foot Speed

Question about the DB Complex video

Slide Board Length Variations

If you have any questions, let us know.

Michael, Sean, Mike and Kevin

Jul 082010

The next thing that we do in our “What to do with inhibited glutes” series is our stretching protocol.  This would be done right after foam rolling. Since the hip flexors are antagonistic to the glute max, we will continue to try and lengthen and relax these muscles.

If you have a partner to stretch you, or if you are the trainer/strength and conditioning coach, and your client needs to stretch their hip flexors, the modified Thomas Position is where to start.  In our situation, if we are stretching before a training session or a practice, we will do the Active Isolated Method of stretching.  If an athlete requests it, we will manually stretch them out on a table.  We will also use the self-static stretch variation as well before and after practices and/or during workouts.  During the AIS method, we are cueing our athlete to think about contracting the glute as we try to lengthen the hip flexors a little more each rep.

Thomas Position Hip Flexor A.I.S.

Thomas Position Hip Flexor + Rectus Femoris A.I.S.

Sometimes we will incorporate prone hip flexor stretching.  I’ve found this one helpful for athletes who may have some back pain in conjunction with inhibited glutes.  Like the modified Thomas Position stretch, we are cueing our athlete to contract the glute on the top of the movement.

Prone Hip Flexor + Rectus Femoris