Try this gluteus muscle test to help lower back pain

Updated March 2016 

gluteus muscles and back pain

Your Gluteus maximus muscle plays a major role in preventing lower back pain.

When the gluteus maximus is proper conditioned, it will be the first muscle to activate upon leg muscle contraction.  It is needed for raising the body up, moving it forward and for lowering it down.

Other muscles, such as the quadriceps (thighs) are important but without the dominant and primary role of the glutes, the legs, hips and consequently the lower back must work harder to compensate.  The more that the gluteus maximus is used, the less your back will suffer.

If you would like to try a very simple test to determine if your lower back pain is affected by your glutes, try the following tests below.

These exercises are designed to test whether or not you have the flexibility, strength and endurance in your lower leg needed to prevent pain.  Most of us who have few to no symptoms, should be able to perform these exercises with little difficulty.  This is because they are able to transfer power to their lower body easily with their gluteus maximus.

If you have difficulty with this test, you must condition this area in order to reduce your pain.  Weak glutes correspond to pain.  Both lower back and hip.  If you find yourself feeling sore in your legs or your back or both for even a short period of time, then your glutes are contributing to your lower back problems.

The good news is that this is treatable through exercise.  You will be able to improve three important areas of deficiency.  The lumbar area, the hips and the legs.

The Squat Test

With loose fitting and comfortable clothing,

  1. Stand with legs shoulder width apart
  2. Lower yourself slowly into a squat position.  A half squat or a full squat is preferred
  3. Either raise your arms in front or you or place them on your waist
  4. Hold this position
  5. While holding, determine which muscles are the first to become sore
  6. Time your hold
  7. Stand up, rest

Squat Test for back pain

This is to test whether or not your glutes are activating as they should.  They should be providing most of your lifting and holding power.  Not your Quadriceps.  If you find your quadriceps and lower back becoming sore long before your glutes do, then you must condition the glutes.  Your quadriceps are working too hard to support your back.

Ideally, with well conditioned and supportive leg muscles, you should be able to hold the squat position for several minutes without any effort.  This is an indication of the effectiveness and power of the glutes.

The Lunge Test

With loose fitting clothing and non slippery footwear,

  1. Stand with legs shoulder width apart
  2. Lower yourself into the squat test
  3. Put both hands on your hips
  4. Step backward with one leg, one full step (do not move the other leg)
  5. Lower your body and low as possible until the forward thigh is horizontal with the floor
  6. Do not rest the knee of your stepping leg on the ground
  7. Hold this position
  8. While holding this position, determine which muscles become sore
  9. Determine if your pelvis or hips drop to one side
  10. Time your hold
  11. Stand up, rest

lunge test for back pain

This exercise is to test the strength, endurance and balance of both leg muscles.  This exercise is more difficult than the squat test.   You should become more tired performing this.  If you have lower back problems, you may find it difficult keeping both sides of your hip level with the ground.  One may fall lower than the other.

You may find your quadriceps becoming sore faster than your glutes will.  In some cases there may be some symptoms of knee pain also.

If you can perform this exercise easily for over 30 seconds, then your legs are helping to protect your lower back.  If you are struggling to maintain this hold or that you are unbalanced when attempting it, then you will need to retrain and recondition your lower body.  These deficiencies are worsening your pain and preventing adequate support and recovery.

The key to overcoming lower back pain in the majority of cases is by treating muscle weaknesses and imbalances.   The Squat Test and The Lunge Test are able to identify some of your weaknesses.  When you can strengthen your glutes through the Low Back Pain Program, you will not only use these “Test” exercises to identify your weakness, but also to move as you body intends to naturally.

If you know that you cannot pass the Squat Test and Lunge Test and need help for your lower back pain, download the eBook HERE and begin right away.

If you are tired of enduring this form of chronic pain, and are in need of a proven, structured, plan for pain relief: Search this site for more valuable help and Download the eBook to start today.

“After reading about this program and doing some of the exercises illustrated in the book; I can say that I am definitely noticing a difference.”

“The book goes in depth on the dynamics of back movements and has in detailed exercise instructions.”