Dr. Shawn Allen of The Gait Guys

Shawn Allen

Anyone who has ever been to a physical therapist has inevitably been told that they have “weak glutes” and been given Jane Fondas or some other form of band exercise.

Does every human being actually have weak glutes? Is the contractile potential of the muscle limited? Do glutes really not “fire correctly”? Can we actually come up with biomechanical explanations for all of the injuries and issues that we find in athletes?

Dr. Shawn Allen is one half of The Gait Guys along with Dr. Ivo Waerlop – a duo renowned for their information dense podcasts and blog posts in which they dissect the latest research articles in rehab, injuries, nervous system development, and strength training.

Dr. Allen practices not too far from my parents’ house in the suburbs of Chicago, so I made the trek out to see him for some chronic groin issues I’d had from playing soccer. And, it turns out I had some glute issues myself.

However, it’s not as simple as simply contracting the offending muscle group over and over and over again. The pattern in which dysfunction is present must be identified, and then a new pattern must be learned to replace the dysfunctional pattern – which is a higher order way of approaching injuries and movement issues.

Dr. Allen and I have had several interesting conversations about injury mechanisms, the nervous system’s control of movement, and best practices in rehab and training, so we decided to record one of them here.

Listen Here

Learn More About Dr. Shawn Allen and The Gait Guys

Show Notes

  • [00:23] Introduction of Dr. Shawn Allen
  • [11:19] How do you balance the biomechanics with someone with multiple movement issues.
  • [21:11] How do you figure out when you should be trying to fix things or just let them go?
  • [29:05] Do you have an example of a thought process or example that you would go through to re-train a pattern on someone?
  • [44:23] How do you reconcile where pain actually comes from and how much biomechanics actually causes pain?
  • [56:26] Muscle testing…

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