N1 Lab: Glutes Hip Extension Comparison with Bands


I love bands, when used as direct resistance, however I think it is ridiculous to use bands as indirect resistance on squats, leg presses, & glute bridges. A basic principle is to use a resistance that matches the motion you are performing. Adding resistance perpendicular to the motion is as far away from that principle as you can get. This is only going to limit your performance in the motion.

We have shown that doing abduction at 90° and 120° of hip flexion, like at the bottom of a squat or seated abduction machine recruits very little lower glutes, & now we are showing that when you assess the use of bands properly, it shows decreased recruitment of the lower glutes. This shouldn’t be a surprise because those muscles are VERY hip extension dominant in their line of pull and leverages. If you actually account for real world anatomy & model the correct fibers, the lower glutes have pretty good leverage in the lengthened and shortened hip extension exercises.

Increased sensation in these movements is coming from lateral glute recruitment, and the increased cocontraction of fighting to do two motions at once. Context matters when using sensation as a proxy for exercise effectiveness. The referenced earlier data did not load equate the exercises, which means you can’t take that data and then apply it to training conditions. Adding a band to a body weight bridge is increasing the resistance, but doesn’t account that you could load an bridge without bands more.

Comparing mean activity of a bodyweight frog pump to a body weight bridge is not transferable because you’re comparing a much smaller intensity bridge to a higher intensity frog pump, because you can load a bridge much heavier. I don’t have a PhD, but these are obvious considerations to me, and so we evaluated these exercises in a way where the participant could use maximum effort for 3 seconds. Under these conditions and even the bodyweight conditions we have found bands to be inferior for the lower glutes, which makes me question the sensor placement in earlier work.

No this doesn’t mean bands are good upper glutes in this manner. Do direct abduction work in the frontal & extension planes.


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