Glute Exercise to Decrease Low Back Pain

Video by Dr. Timothy Dunn

In our chiropractic clinics, we see many patients experiencing low back pain. A big issue that often leads to this low back pain is glute inactivation. In our clinics we work on different exercises to decrease low back pain by activating the glutes and the sumo walk is a great exercise for just that. There are many different resistance band placements for sumo walks and I wanted to go over some research that went into detail on where we get the most glute activation depending on where we place the resistance band.

In a research article by Edward Cambridge et al, they tested three different band placements on their patients and used a meter to test glute and TFL (tensor fasciae latae) activation. The three placements were around the knees, around the ankles, and around the feet. What they found was, the lower the band placement, the more glute activation there was, and the higher the band placement the more TFL activation there was. This shows that sumo walks are effective at glute activation in general but the more distal we place the band, the better the results we will get from the exercise. For people who struggle initially with these, you should start with band placement at the knees and progress more distally as you gain strength.


 Quotes From Research Article

“Three resistance band placements (around the knees, ankles and feet) during the two exercises were utilized to provide a progressive resistance to the gluteal muscles while repeated measures ANOVA with Bonferroni adjustment was used to assess differences in mean EMG.”

“Tensor fascia latae (TFL) demonstrated a progressive activation moving the band from the knee to the distal band placement, but not between the ankle and foot placements. Gluteus medius demonstrated a progressive activation moving distally between band placements. Gluteus maximus was preferentially activated only during the foot placement.”

“The band placements offered a progressive increase in resistance for hip rehabilitation, specifically the gluteal muscles. The added benefit of placing the band around the forefoot was selective enhancement of the gluteal muscles versus TFL presumably by adding an external rotation effort to the hips.”

In summary, this article shows us that Sumo walk exercises can be effective in activation of the glutes especially when the resistance bands are placed in the proper areas. Glute activation and strengthening can help with reducing back pain. There are ways we can move better to help fix postural issues, in our Chiro Health clinics we focus on restoring proper posture and getting people moving the way they should be. Come into our clinics to learn more on how we can help you get out of pain!



Edward D.J. Cambridge, Natalie Sidorkewicz, Dianne M. Ikeda, Stuart M. McGill,

Progressive hip rehabilitation: The effects of resistance band placement on gluteal activation during two common exercises, Clinical Biomechanics, Volume 27, Issue 7, 2012, Pages 719-724, ISSN 0268-0033, (


Our Message

Our Chiropractors located in St. Louis Park, near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd./Westside Dr., know how to get you out of pain through better movement AND making sure you are getting the proper nutrients. We also teach our patients how to manage their stress for optimal health. When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you, choose one who will not only help with your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle so you can stay out of pain.