Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Kinesiology, option Exercise Science

Committee Chair Name

Justus Ortega

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Tina Manos

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Eli Lankford

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Gluteus maximus, Running economy, Metabolic cost, EMG, Running, Muscle activation, Recreational running

Subject Categories



Within the running community, there are strategies that a trainer will utilize to improve the performance of an athlete. One of these strategies suggests that an increase in activation of the Gluteus Maximus (GM) muscle will result in an increase in the efficiency of runners. The primary purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between GM activation and running economy (RE).

Methods: Three female and seven male recreational runners (27±8 yrs) from California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt and the local community. A Pearson product-correlation was used to determine the strength of the relationship between Gluteus Maximus activation and running economy. Runners (27±8 yrs) ran on a treadmill at 11 km/hr and running economy was quantified as metabolic power (Watt/kg) using indirect calorimetry (ParvoMedic). Muscle activation (2000 Hz; Delsys Trigno) of the Rectus Femoris (RF), Biceps Femoris (BF), Soleus (SOL), Tibialis Anterior (TA) muscles were collected in the last two minutes of each six-minute trial.

Results/Discussion: There was no significant relation between GM activation and metabolic cost at 11km/hr (r=-0.08, p=.817, Figure 1). When examining secondary lower extremity muscles, none of the muscles had a correlation with metabolic cost (Table 1). Similar studies examining metabolic cost and muscle activation found similar trends in which GM was reported to be one of the lower activating muscles at slower speeds. This lack of a relationship between muscle activation and running metabolic cost may be related to the contributing roles of these muscles while running.

Conclusion: GM activation does not correlate with metabolic cost at intermediate running speeds. The results of this study will be beneficial to coaches and athletes in developing a training program to improve running performance.

Citation Style




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