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What should I avoid when doing the gluteal pumps exercise?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy

Gluteal pumps restore strength to the gluteus maximus (which extends and externally rotates the hip joint as well as guides the femoral head in the hip socket). Gluteal strength is critical for proper hip and knee mechanics.

Here are some things to avoid when doing the gluteal pumps exercise:

  • You may find your back arches in order to bring your leg up higher. If this happens, stabilize your spine by drawing your belly button in, or don't raise the leg up quite so high.
  • If your hamstrings cramp or fatigue, you're lifting using your hamstrings instead of your gluteals. Focus on pulling your leg up by squeezing your rear-end muscles. Keep your hamstrings relatively relaxed. Stretch the front of your thigh muscles so your hamstrings aren't working so hard to bend the knee. Perform a tensor fascia lata (TFL) & Quadriceps Stretch or Windshield Wipers, Level 1 to stretch the thigh muscles.
Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

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Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

Hip and knee pain are often a result of poor pelvic muscle performance in combination with poor walking habits. This combination creates tracking problems in the hip socket or excessive rotation at...

When performing gluteal exercises it is common to compensate with synergistic muscles. In many individuals the gluteal muscles are often underactive, meaning they are not firing as they should, thus they are weak. Because the muscle is weak synergistic muscles such as the hamstrings and low back extensors will tend to make up for gluteal weakness. When performing he gluteal pumps be sure to contract the glutes and if you feel the muscles of the low back or hamstrings becoming fatigued, reset and focus on contraction of the gluteal muscles.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.