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Gluteus Medius, Pelvic Floor, CORE, Lats – You Can’t Strengthen INHIBITED Muscles

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Today’s message could save you years of frustration trying to get out of pain, so I hope you take this knowledge and use it for more efficient healing even if you never join a course of mine.

“INHIBITED: to restrain, hinder, arrest; to prohibit, forbid.”

When a muscle becomes inhibited, it is not “lazy” or simply “weak,” which is often the perspective offered by physical therapists and personal trainers. An inhibited muscle is restrained/prohibited/forbidden from activating (by your brain/nervous system). 

The common protocols for “fixing” this issue involves strengthening those “lazy” muscles, but this is the last thing you should do. 

Which muscles are most commonly considered “lazy”? 


Gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, your entire “posterior chain,” pelvic floor/deep CORE (or just “your core”), quadratus lumborum (low back) and latissimus dorsi (large back muscle involved in shoulder instability). 

Trying to strengthen an inhibited muscle means forcing your body and brain to come up with even more pervasive compensation patterns, in order to perform the movements you’re requesting.  

ONLY when we’ve taken care of the cause of inhibition will we begin activating. 

And only after they’ve been activated will you move on to strengthening. 

The #1 thing I want you to take away from this video is this: 

YOU CAN’T STRENGTHEN AN INHIBITED MUSCLE. 


If you are being told by therapists or trainers that you’re in pelvic instability, that your glutes are  “lazy” or you have ANY muscle inhibited (including upper body muscles like your subscap or lats) and they are trying to have you strengthen those muscles… I can almost guarantee you it will backfire.

Why?

When you try to strengthen a muscle that’s prohibited from activating by your brain, your body will go into compensations. And those compensations are often the very thing causing your current PAIN. 

There’s a strategic approach you need to apply if you want to solve this as quickly as possible, and you can do this on your own (or, with someone’s help):

  1. You might need to STOP certain activities that are causing further compensations, pelvic instability and/or glute or deep core inhibition. 
  2. Next, figure out why those muscles are inhibited before trying to activate them. Is it from a fall or previous injury? Where is your fascia tightest, and is your thigh fascia pulling your pelvis out of alignment (which can cause muscle inhibitions)? What’s your posture like? Your gait? 
  3. Then you have to address the cause of inhibition (with fascia release and maybe changing your gait and a few lifestyle habits). The primary action here is strategic fascia release so that your left and right quads/hip flexors/adductors etc are balanced and no longer pulling your pelvis or hips out of alignment. 
  4. Activating the inhibited muscles comes next, and this also needs to be strategic: you want to do small range, isolated movements that fatigue the specific muscle(s) you’re targeting and cause you to get sore the next day. That’s how you know they’re working (firing)!
  5. Once your glutes and core muscles are activating and you’re feeling relatively pain-free (or 100%), you’ll progress to full body movements. As soon as you can integrate these activations into full body movements you’re off to the races! You can return to your favorite activities to TEST your newly functional body. 
  6. If the pain recurs or you start getting sore in places of compensation that you now know caused your pain (plantar fasciitis, knee pain, back pain etc), you’ll go back a few steps and reinforce these new patterns. Often, it takes progressive reinforcement of new patterns for them to stick. But they WILL stick with perseverance.

* Disclaimer: The contents of this blog and accompanying YouTube channel are for informational purposes only and do not render medical or psychological advice, opinion, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided through this website is expressly the opinions of each author and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. This is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Links on this website are provided only as an informational resource, and it should not be implied that we recommend, endorse or approve of any of the content at the linked sites, nor are we responsible for their availability, accuracy or content.

  • Rodders says:

    Was really looking forward to trying your pelvic stability techniques , really struggling at the moment , gutted that they are no longer here

  • Janice says:

    This was so helpful and eye opening (as all of your videos are!). I’ve been working on uninhibiting my glutes for a couple years but the tailbone/core connection is so very interesting since I had a tailbone injury over twenty years ago and am still struggling to get my core uninhibited. Thanks for sharing all these bits of knowledge that add up to so much!

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