Fatigued Glutes

Until the past couple of years, my muscle fatigue presented in my quads and occasionally the calves. I think this is normal. Recently, my limiter after hard efforts has been my glutes. After a hard sustained interval effort above 400 watts for at least five minutes, I am really sore the next two days if I do anything above a Z2 effort. When I hit a hill, I’ll immediately feel it in my arse and limits how hard I can go. After getting dropped on a group ride a couple of times, I’ve become more careful with rest/recovery. Anyhow, seems I’m unique when I ask others as their ‘dead legs’ are largely in their quads - anyone else experienced this, have any advice?

FWIW - train 10-15 hours a week, 49 YO, FTP of 330, more punchy than diesel.

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Did you change your bike fit recently? That would affect how much your glutes are (or aren’t) being recruited.

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Have not changed anything recently. One thing common amongst my bikes is a 4 inch saddle fore-aft. ie., nose of saddle is set back 4inches from center of BB on my gravel and road bike. Perhaps this is the culprit?

have you considered strengthening them with some basic glute exercises like glute bridges, fire hydrants, etc?

was a game changer for me.

good luck!

Saddle fore/aft will have an impact on glute/quad activation in my experience, further back seems to activate the rear-end and set forward the quads.

Changing setback will have an effect on the rest of your fit (reach/saddle height) 4"/10cm seems like a lot of setback to me.

Sure could be, but depends on a few factors… saddle height for one. If he’s particularly tall (6’ or more), this might make perfect sense. And without knowing more about his morphology or riding preferences, setback alone is not enough to do more than ask for additional data to fill in the picture.


glute bridges, yes, for quite some time. Previously with weights, but now do it with one leg lift. But fire hydrant is a new one. Seems like an easy one to add to the routine as I can never have too much core.

I’ve been getting lazy on the hip flexor stretching (pigeon) and need to get back into daily routine.

This has sort of been a function of the last couple of bikes I’ve purchased that came with 25mm of seatpost setback. Probably wouldn’t hurt to push the saddle forward a bit and correct for this.

I’m sure you’ve prob seen this, but hip flexor and hammy stretches! This is gold. I do this 20x a month min


thats my go-to as well, pure gold.

In addition to what was mentioned above, resistance band work can be excellent for glute activation:

  1. Clam shells
  2. Side lying hip abduction (I bend bottom leg and then keep top leg straight with band just above knees)
  3. One legged deadlift with KB
  4. Glute bridge, but keep band just above knees - helps further activate glutes. One legged are money but can be hard if glutes really weak.
  5. Side steps
  6. Skater lunges
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Ooh - going to get right on this (after Wednesday’s drop ride…) I imagine I’m going to be sore after first sequence of these. Seems like a masculine interpretation of many yoga routines.

If it helps, if you are going to be looking at weights exercises for glutes, check the position your hip angle is when you recruit your glutes. If you are recruiting at the top of the pedal stroke, your hip will be in quite a flexed position. If you are strengthening your glutes with a glute bridge on the floor, your hip is mostly open thus effetely doing a half range contraction. Added, if you are looking for a powerful glute exercises, body weight is unlikely to be much use as the number of fibres recruited and load will be insignificant by comparison. If your goal is stability, activation, mind/body connection etc, (i.e. not trying to increase strength or power outright), that’s a different kettle of fish.
To increase hip angle, you could place your mid back on a gym bench and elevate your feet onto a couple of weight discs, (if you train at a gym). This increases hip angle and can be loaded pretty easily.
You could also research ‘open chain’ glute exercises which may be useful too, (as opposed to ‘close chain’).
Hope this helps

and curtsy lunge!

sick thanks! I feel like i’m getting enough heavy glute work from deadlift squat, but maybe should try these too!