5 Red Flags for Weak Glutes (FIX THIS!)

5 Red Flags for Weak Glutes (FIX THIS!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Kicking off a new series here today. We’re talking about Red Flags. Today we’re covering five red flags that
your glutes are pretty weak. As a matter of fact, damn weak, and you need
to do something about it. To make sure that you don’t miss this or
any other video in this series, you’ve got to get off your ass and make sure you hit
subscribe and turn on the notifications as well, so you never miss a video from this
channel. Guys, one by one I’m going to knock out
five things that you should be able to do if you have adequate strength in your glutes. If you do not, then you need to do something
about it. First off, you might be asking yourself “Why
should I even care?” Besides the fact that most of us would probably
like to look good from behind, I’m telling you that the glutes are designed to be the
most powerful muscles in your entire body. Ironically, they tend to be the weakest because
we don’t train them effectively. Squats, deadlifts; they’re not doing enough,
guys. It’s a single plane motion working the sagittal
plane and our glutes are three dimensional and work in all three planes. We need to make sure we’re addressing them
individually. If you don’t, you’re going to have bad
posture. You could have anterior pelvic tilt. I made a whole video on this before. You could have a weakness in your big lifts. You’re not lifting as much, nearly as much
as you could on your deadlift and squat because of a weakness in your glutes. You’re not getting as much power, or speed
if you’re athlete. Everything comes down to the powerhouse of
your entire body, your center of mass, and it’s all centered right around your pelvis,
and you need to focus on this. So, let’s get going. So, let’s look for that first red flag here. It’s really simple to do. You get down on the floor, no equipment required. You come down to the ground, hands and knees. This is a two-part sequence here. You’re not out of the woods if you can do
the first one. What you want to do is get your leg back behind
you, start with either one, and you want your knee straight. You don’t want to cheat it and roll the
pelvis out. You want to try and keep that parallel to
the floor. From here you’re going to squeeze your leg
up toward the ceiling by activating the glute. Hopefully. So that means you should be able to feel this
intense contraction right here in this cheek. If you don’t, I’m already starting to
get a little concerned because we need to know that you have that mind-muscle control
over the glute. These small motions are what will reveal whether
you do or not. But let’s say you do there. You’re not out of the woods. What you need to do now is bend the knee and
repeat the same procedures because by bending the knee here, we’re shortening the hamstring. We’re contracting the hamstring a little
bit. Meaning, we’re taking its contribution out
of the equation. The hamstring is capable of extending the
hip as well as flexing the knee. So, when we have this here, now when we try
to lift up toward the ceiling, can you still do that? And can you still feel any contraction in
the glute? A lot of us will find that we lose that ability. We don’t feel it squeezing anymore. We don’t feel that cramping in here. That means your hamstrings were doing more
of the work and the glutes aren’t as strong as you think they are. Which means they’re going to need work. You want to make sure you test this on both
sides because there can always be discrepancies. As a matter of fact, it’s a common occurrence
to have a discrepancy in your strength from right side to left. Our next red flag here just requires a couple
of dumbbells and an exercise you’ve probably done a whole lot of reps on. That’s the lunge. Now, take whatever you’d use on a 12 to
15 rep lunge. I just have 25lbs in each hand here. Remember, when you lunge out you’re not
just trying to see whether you can get out here and then come back up to the top. You want to be able to do that with stability
through your pelvis. Meaning, you don’t want a lot of shakiness,
or wobbling through the pelvis because you want to know that your glutes are doing their
job. Remember, the muscles of the glutes are not
single plane. I said that in the beginning. They actually control motion in all three
planes. In this case, we’re looking for their ability
to control the frontal plane. So, you take whatever that weight is – 25lbs
in each hand – combine it for 50lbs, now take a 50lb dumbbell, and here’s the test. You hold it on one side only. So, I have it on my left side. I’m going to step out with the opposite
leg. As I step out here, the opposite leg down. What I’m looking for is that same stability. I’ve got a lot of weight over here that’s
probably going to make this hip kick out if the glutes are weak on this side. So, you want to make sure you can get out
here with that double weight straight down, and straight back, nice and controlled, for
about three to four reps. And back, nice and controlled. You’re not looking – you want to make
sure you’re not doing that. Fall into that side and let that hip kick
out on you. Remember, test both sides here again. Number three is another one we can do down
here on the ground, no equipment at all. Again, red flag. You’ve got make sure that we at least reveal
these, so we know what we’re dealing with. I want you to get down on your ground, get
on your back, and we’re going to form a bridge. When you do the bridge with both feet on the
ground and lift your hips up as high as you can. Now, a lot of people will shortchange the
bridge. They stop here. That’s not full hip extension. To get the full hip extension you’ve got
to lift until you’ve basically drawn a straight line between your quads and your torso. If you’re going to roll something it will
roll right down. It’s not going to get caught in the middle
here. Some people, right there, are going to already
start to feel cramping. It’s where you feel the cramping that’s
one of the biggest problems. If you’re cramping in the hamstrings at
all you’re in trouble. It’s going to get worse because what I want
you to do is to, in this position, test the right side. You’re going to get right there and lift
the left leg off the ground. Two things you’re looking for. If I lift the left leg off the ground do I
immediately start to drop here? Do I start to sag? If you do it’s because you don’t have
strong enough glutes on this side. We should all be able to perform a single
leg bridge with our own bodyweight. But if you start to drop that’s sign number
one. Number two: you’ll also start to rotate. Same deal. Weakness in the glute. But more importantly, when you get in that
position here and you lift, if you can even stay up but you start getting cramping in
this hamstring, then you have assigned here that your glutes are weak. Why? Because your glutes are what should be driving
hip extension. Not your hamstrings. Although, they are capable of contributing
to hip extension, that’s not their main focus. So, if they start cramping that means they’re
trying to do as much of the work as possible because the glutes don’t want to do the
work. That’s a great sign that says “Hey! Wake up, you lazy ass (literally) and start
doing some of the work, and don’t make me – the hamstrings – do everything that
you’re supposed to be doing.” It’s a great sign, guys. Remember, test both sides, right and left
to find out where you stand. Number four, and this is one of the big, red
flags that’s going to remind you every, single day that there’s something wrong. The thing is, you usually don’t understand
that the source is your glutes, once again. That is low back pain. In this case, I like to call it ‘pseudo
low back pain’. I made a whole video on this. I’m going to show you what it looks like
here and I’ll link it down in the description below. You want to watch that if you have what I’m
showing you here because I promise it’s going to fix it. Even as I promised in that video, instantly;
you’re going to feel instant relief. Watch. This is what we’re talking about. This area right here – I’m going to get
a little naughty here – but we’ve got, basically, if I were to rub my hand over the
upper portion of my glutes I would feel a bone right here. It’s in my pelvis. If you can just roll your fingers just to
the outside of that bone – so roll it over until it sits on the outside. Right in here, if you have pain right in that
spot, and when you press it, it can radiate around, down your leg a little bit, up into
your low back, and starts to feel like “Wow, that is exactly – I can pinpoint where that
is”, then my friend; you’ve got some issues with your glute medias. Likely, it’s really, really weak. That’s what’s causing your pain. What you need to do is watch the video I just
showed you because I’m going to show you in there exactly how to treat that. But for now, the presence of this pain alone
in this pinpointed spot – either on the right side or left – is enough to tell me
that I know where the source of your issues lie. It is your glute medias, and it’s weak,
and you need to fix it. That video will help you to do that. Our fifth and final red flag is an ab exercise. Again, you guys have got to see this by now,
that all these muscles are connected. Especially if they have common attachments
to the pelvis. Of course, one is going to influence the other. We know that the abs are controlling the pelvis
and the glutes as well. So why are they not impacting each other? This is the thing, we’re going to jump to
one of the hardest exercises there are when it comes to the abs. That’s the dragonfly. But don’t worry. You might not be able to do the dragonfly,
but even if you can do some version of it, you’re going to see that it’s probably
your glutes causing the problem, less than your overall ab strength. So, we get in this position, you grab onto
something you can anchor your upper body to, and then you go in and start to do your dragonfly. Which is going to be this. Up here, and then drop it down. Right, under control. So now, where is the weakness? I’m going to tell you that your abs are
a hell of a lot stronger than you think they are. The problem is your glutes. If you can’t perform this exercise, do this
instead. See how strong your glutes really are by focusing
on how much they’re activated during that exercise. So, when I come out, what’s happening is,
people’s hips are dropping here. So, the abs have to take on a lot more of
the work because the hips and glutes are not contracted. If instead I squeeze into extension, all of
a sudden, my abs become a lot stronger here to be able to hold that position. If you can’t start there, it’s the same
principle applied at a higher angle. So instead of having my legs out, beginners
can be up here and see how much they can hold with their abs. Remember, I have sunken hips here. What I have to do is squeeze into full extension
and stay there. So, you’re testing your ability. If you just can’t get your hips up and you
can’t keep them up, you don’t have enough hip extension strength, and that’s just
against the force of gravity. Imagine what happens when you actually start
to apply weighted exercises where they need to be like that, or you try to get into a
barbell hip thrust and you don’t have nearly the strength in your glutes to do them properly. Guys, there are a lot of red flags when it
comes to a lot of different muscles groups that you have, but none probably more overlooked
than your glutes. They’re geared to be powerhouses. They’re probably not doing anywhere near
the full capacity of what they’re capable of for you, and that’s a problem. We need to fix it. So, guys, if you’re looking for a program
that puts the science back in strength, step by step, we show you how to do these things
because it all matters; all of our programs are available over at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if you’ve found the video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up below. Remember, if you haven’t already, subscribe
and turn on those notifications. You need to do both steps in order to get
notified every time I run a new video. All right, guys. See you soon.

100 Replies to “5 Red Flags for Weak Glutes (FIX THIS!)”

  1. Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!


  2. All of these make the biggest difference when it comes to squats/ any leg workouts & growth!!

  3. I was totally with you till that last crazy dragon fly move, I think you took gym and nastics too seriously.

  4. I've been working out again for about 2 months now, after a year long hiatus from my C-PTSD getting bad again. My glutes have been atrophied. I'm seeing small changes in them, but I can't seem to activate them for all exercises. Fire hydrants, leg extensions, and other resistance exercises work alright… and I get a burn after a good half hour of that now. But I have a few of the red flags in this video… my hips slump with the one legged bridges, and my lunges can be a bit wobbly. Of course I have bowed legs, so that could contribute to that. I'm a work out at home mom, so I'm not sure what more I could be doing!

  5. When I do the single leg bridge, thr muscle in my lower back squeezes and hurts, does this mean I have weak glutes aswell

  6. Thanks, for the lessons but I want to find out what is good for me to eat I’m having problem with my diet I’m not a meat eater,I eat meat but I don’t love meat.

  7. It was quite cool to see the activation and bridge tests mimicking glute exercises that I first encountered in ballet fitness programs. Relatively rarely does one think of common ground between dance (especially one as graceful as ballet, where one has to minimize the appearance of effort while exerting oneself) and bodybuilding style fitness, but it is there and it’s fun for me as a dancer to see it. I’m mildly amused at the mental image of guys trying these tests knowing that some might me reluctant to try them if presented to them in the context of ballet fitness. Little do they know…. 😂

  8. As a bodyworker, this information here is excellent. Tight hip flexor and weak gluts are combination, which is sooo common in numerous dysfunctions of lower body.

  9. I am doing Athlean-x1 program now. Only 97 something dollars for 3 program that practically will take 4 months when you include repetitions or a recovery week or two. I highly highly recommend beginners take this program. 3 months will fly by and you'll start enjoying fitness training. I like the idea of training like an athlete. I've lost a lot of weight from 500 cal deficit from my TDEE. But you can also lose fat and then gradually start building muscle by increasing calories later. I trust Jeff%. You don't even need gym membership. He has home version. Just buy dumbells and a mat. They are cheap. Having gym membership is a plus. Guys, put all your faith in Athleanx and Jeff as a guru. I occasionally watch Thomas DeLauer and others as i am doing Intermitent fasting. But overall stick to one program and one guru.

    Health is foundation for happiness in other areas of life. Also, if you have depression, working out helps. Take it slow. Lift till failure
    And follow good diet. Week by Week you will see exponential results!!

    Good luck!

  10. I recently found out my knee pain was related to my weak glutes. I’m working on strengthening them to alleviate the pain.

  11. Man i failed every test red flag and previous video on pain… 😣 dont know where to start.. its frustrating i have been in pain for years!

  12. During tests 1 and 3, my lower back muscles work alongside the glutes much more than hamstrings, and they're cramping and ache afterwards. Why could that be? I can perform a single leg bridge without rotating, but my back works more than glutes

  13. Hey when I was doing the last red flag with the bridges I was getting cramps on the center of my back. What's that mean?

  14. this guy just told me my weak ness that i was not able to know from last 6 months…..you are really a mentor…you are 'DRONACHARYA' who dont ask for the thum from the "Eklaviye"….

  15. I like the exercises you are doing, but this is for healthy people. I have problems in my knees what exercises you recommend to make strong muscles in my but?

  16. Jeff you are saving people from a life of pain I appreciate you. I'm 18 and already feel so much pain in my knees and back. I've always told myself I'd rather run and not go to the gym but I need to get in there and fix this.

  17. THUMBS UP!!!
    then watch.

    i think i'm just fine in this area, but i'll watch and learn something new i'm sure!

    already i see that i do the first one ALMOST DAILY, lifting in the middle, in the center, and on the sides. (dudes might want to stick to the way jeff is doing this move.)

    and others almost daily …

    good video. though i didn't need it.

  18. Oh my goodness this was so interesting! I was shocked when you said everyone should be able to do single leg hip raises! I though that was an advances move as I can only do the bridge with 2 feet on the ground. I think the front of my thighs have beem doing all the work as that's where I always hurt after a good workout. I really need to sort this out. Thank you so much for helping me identify this.

  19. You are awesome, I love your channel, you can really learn from you and is not just a how to get big with out really knowing what you are doing. 😎👏💪

  20. 1:33 – Activation Test
    3:11 – Lunge Test
    4:41 – Bridge Test
    6:42 – Low Back Pain Test
    8:10 – Dragon Flag Test

  21. Been doing 100 donkey kicks per leg a night and 100 glute bridges and my booty got smaller 😭 is there something I can TAKE?!

  22. This guy knows his SHIT! I had back problems, saw the other video….feel much better. Went to the DR just to make sure, gave me 7 exercises three were identical. I was 300lbs now Im at 160 all with his vids….

  23. I just started working out again after a long stretch of health problems. I wish i never stopped being active 🙁 it made everything worse. I feel like im starting from ground zero

  24. Hey Jeff, just need a bit of advice. Due to a knee reco, lunges are always difficult. Can you please recommend some strengthening work and/or alternatives to the lunge? Loving the AX1 program BTW, best results I've had in years. Thanks, mate.

  25. SO appreciative for your fantastic videos and evidence-based approach to training so effectively. I'm a personal trainer, yoga teacher and sports nutritionist (R.D.) and see so many people outright wasting their time "training" in gyms. I'm so grateful for your comprehensive approach to common trouble spots (e.g., glute medius weakness, hip and shoulder issues, etc). Love your explanations about anatomical involvement, causes and most importantly, specific strength and flexibility training, including do's and don't to address root causes of issues. Your experience as a physical therapist distinguishes your approach and is something I especially appreciate. So grateful for your work and for all the lives that are so meaningfully impacted by your dedication. Awesome work, THANK YOU and please keep it coming!!!

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