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Weak glutes and an underactive gluteus maximus muscle are one of the fastest ways to experience low back pain. The reason is simple, when your glutes are weak your lumbar extensors are being asked to perform too much of a job that they should be sharing responsibilities with the glutes for. This leads to an overactivation of the lower back muscles and an eventual breakdown and injury.
In this video, I’m going to show you one of the quickest and simplest things you can do to fix the issue by incorporating a simple tweak into the exercises that you are already doing. The problem is not that we aren’t doing enough glute extension exercises, but rather that we aren’t fully extending during the exercises that we are already doing. For instance during a deadlift, when you get to the top of the lift you may feel is if you have completed the necessary range of motion.
Check your form in the mirror, or better yet squeeze your glutes consciously together and if you find that you have additional range of motion of the hips then you were not at the top of the movement. You simply did not contract your glutes hard enough at the top and that is causing you to come up just shy of neutral in hip extension on the deadlift.
The same can be said about the squat as well. Most of us worry about getting back up to a standing or vertical position without every really focusing on what is going on at the hips. Likely, you would see that when you perform the squat you never get all the way back up into neutral hip extension at the top of the rep. When this happens, your body looks for the extension in other places in an effort to get your head level and your chest upright.
The first place your body is going to go knocking is at the lumbar spine. This is almost always true of any injured or weak area. When you look at the part that is injured you should very rarely look to blame this muscle group or area for its own troubles. Instead, you should look either immediately above or below the site of the pain and in the case of the lower back you should be looking at either the thoracic spine or the hips.
When the hips are either not strong enough or are just not consciously being contracted into extension, your body will smartly look to find a compensation somewhere else. This leads to an excessive extension being performed by the lumber spine. Over time, this can lead to breakdown and wear and tear on the discs in your lower back with eventual injury.
Instead, if you just focused on finishing the reps that you are already performing you would be amazed at just how significant of an improvement you could see in a relatively short period of time. Remember, the hips do not really travel far into extension in the first place. With only 10-15 degrees of concentrated hip extension movement available at the hip joint, it’s not this that will unlock your gains. It’s the fact that you haven’t done anything to address getting your hips back to neutral instead of keeping them in that semi-flexed position on your major exercises.
Things like these may seem little because we are not talking about huge discrepancies in the way it looks to do this correctly and when you are doing it improperly. That said, the results speak for themselves and the gains are hard to contain. If you are looking for a complete training system that overlooks nothing and gets you in the best shape of your life, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System.
For more videos on how to fix lower back pain and the best exercises for strengthening weak glutes and a bad back, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at