MONDAY MOVE: Glute Bridge with Ball Squeeze
I went to see my physical therapist, Diana Fassett, for my back injury earlier in the week. It is feeling much better, but she wanted to work with me on some of my mechanics to ensure that I heal completely and don’t re-injur myself.
One of the drills she had me do was the glute bridge while squeezing a ball between my thighs. I was so cocky going into it. I do hip thrusts all the time with a heavy load. I back squat 250 pounds and deadlift 300 pounds. Of course I could do a bridge with my own body weight. (Eye roll).
As it turns out, I could do it, but my quads take over. They are like the bully of my body pushing the other muscles out of the way and taking their lunch money. The most alarming part was when she had me hold the bridge with one leg elevated. Not only do I have an incredibly challenging time keeping the movement in my glute and out of my quads, but I also realized that one side is much stronger than the other.
I am not her first Crossfit patient and she said it is a pattern she has noticed among the community. Crossfit women have incredibly strong quads and lower back muscles and so they compensate and take the exercises out of the glutes and core. It’s not to say our glutes aren’t much stronger than the average person–just our quads are exceptionally dominant.
The body is a highly intelligent machine. It is designed to compensate and “gut through” movements taking the easiest route possible. As Diana told me some time back–if you have a rock in your shoe, you change adjust by putting more pressure on the side of your body without the rock. The thing is, this generates a trickle down effect where everything gets out of alignment.
This is important to remember. If we don’t train glutes, our body can’t function optimally. I likely used too much of my lower back to lift my twins and tweaked my back. I didn’t engage my core properly, and instead muscled them up and hoisted them on my hip.
Do this drill and tell me what you discover about your body.