Glutes are an important muscle group in your body but are often overlooked. If you keep neglecting this part of your body and drive your attention away to other muscles, it can lay the foundation for the causes of plantar fasciitis. Weak glutes can also affect your performance as an athlete and decrease your body’s functionality.
If you wonder if you have strong or weak glutes, this guide can help you spot weak glutes. This will make sure you have a clear idea about your body’s strength. Let’s see the stages and causes of plantar fasciitis.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Hmm..that’s a big word. Let me explain this to you. If you can notice an overarching curve in your lower back that keeps your posture out of alignment, it is an Anterior Pelvic Tilt. Generally, there should be a curve on your lower back but this can get extended more than necessary when your glutes are weak.
Weak glutes cannot give enough support for your hip and to keep your hip in position, your lumbar spine will come to the rescue. This help from the lumbar spine will pull your upper body away to the front and your weak glutes will obviously not support your posture. This imbalance will create a tilt.
Another major observation here is, your hamstring gets tight as well in order to support your weak glutes. Notice, your hamstrings are tightened in this process to support your hip as it is out of place. Most often, when people experience tightness in their hamstrings they immediately start work on them but this can lead to more trouble. You have to address the underlying cause, which in this case is weak glutes and misaligned hip.
Glute Activation Test
- Drop on the floor in a table pose, use your palms and knees as your base.
- Indication-1: Lift either one of your legs to bring it to parallel to the floor. If your pelvis tilts while balancing your leg in a straight position, this is a sign of weak glutes.
- Your hamstrings support your leg in lifting them straight, so let’s isolate glutes by taking hamstrings out of action.
- Indication-2: Bend your knee by creating L-shape while lifting your leg. This will put more work on glutes. If you have weak glutes, you must observe a tilt in your pelvis.
- Indication – 3: By creating L-shape and after lifting your leg, try to swing your leg in an up and down motion. Your hips must be in position and well balanced.
If you fail to keep your hip aligned and well balanced in any one of these tests, then you have weak glutes. It is important to test your glutes on all these 3-tests and also on both of your legs. This is one of the major causes of plantar fasciitis.
- Hold a dumbbell that is heavier than you use in daily workouts.
- Perform a lunge, you should carry the weight on the side of your back leg. This basically means the dumbbell on the right side of your right knee is bent to the ground and vice-versa.
If your pelvis tilts or you are unable to keep yourself in position. This is also an indication of weak glutes.
- Let’s get into the position, lay your body with the back on the floor and bend your knees.
- Now, lift your hip by using your legs. Don’t lift too high or too low, your body must be in a straight line.
- In this position, lift either one of your legs in a straight position. If your hips drop or even if your hamstrings experience pain or cramps. This is a sign of weak glutes.
This is an incredible test as here, glutes are worked more and even a cramp in hamstrings can be observed while doing this.
Low Back Pain Test (Pseudo)
Weak glutes can cause low back pain, well I guess I will say this is pseudo low back pain. Why? Because the underlying cause is glutes instead of the lower back itself. Your glutes, more precisely, gluteus medius extend close to the area that is closer to the low back.
When there is a weakness in your glutes, this will weaken the support in your lower back and cause pain. If this pain continues to last, this will take your glutes away from work as a protective mechanism and it can even inhibit gluteal muscles after lower back pain recovery.
This can be observed usually on a runner’s feet. Somebody with weak glutes will have an abnormal gait as their hip is not getting enough support and particularly during movement. This will make you develop a bad foot strike position and it could eventually lead to plantar fasciitis, which is a delayed sign of having weak glutes.
If you have any lumps or sprains on your feet, then this can also be due to weak glutes. But this is a delayed sign so checking your gluteal muscles by the tests mentioned above is much more reliable.
This plantar fasciitis is commonly seen on runners’ feet. Because when someone has weak glutes, this will badly affect them causing them to have an abnormal gait. This will develop a bad foot-strike position and it could eventually lead to plantar fasciitis. This takes a long time if you ignore activating your glutes.
At the end of these tests, you can be sure about the strength of your gluteal muscles and notice what kind of changes are going through your body. Although workouts for glutes are imperative to strengthen the muscle, You have to develop your body with a focus on all muscle groups. Any muscle group lacking attention can easily cause weakness and imbalance in your body.