5 MUST-DO GLUTE ACTIVATION EXERCISES

It is well known that we must get our muscles and joints warm and ready before working out to help prepare our bodies to perform and reduce the risk of injury. As well as the physiological benefits, warming up also has many psychological benefits that mentally prepare us for the activities that are to come.

Activating the glutes before exercising is particularly important for a number of reasons, and while it may currently be a bit of a ‘buzz’ term used by fitness professionals and coaches, it’s for good reason!

What Is Glute Activation?

Activation exercises are used to turn on the right muscles so that they fire optimally when you need them to. Switching on your glutes before you train them means they do the work, rather than relying on surrounding muscles to pick up the slack.

 

Why Is It Important?

For many individuals, the glutes often remain ‘inactive’ or ‘switched off’. One of the main causes of this is that many of us are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Most people, even the active ones, primarily use their glutes for one main purpose – sitting down. Many jobs now involve sitting down for a big part of the day, or after a long day of work we go home and sit on the couch.

Learning to activate your glutes is important so that you can strengthen them and allow them to perform at their best. Strong glute muscles have a major impact on the rest of the body, as they help to support your core and improve posture, increase athletic power and reduce the risk of injury.

Best Exercises:

These exercises can be included as part of your normal warm up routine before going for a run or hitting the gym. You only need to spend a few minutes doing them, and the only piece of equipment you will need is a mini band.

1-2 sets of 8-10 reps and your glutes will be firing and ready to go!

1. Crab Walks

  • While standing, place the band around the knees
  • Assume an athletic stance – feet hip width apart with a slight bend in the knees and hips
  • Take a step to the left with your left foot, then follow with the right, keeping tension in the band
  • Repeat lateral movement for desired reps and switch sides

2. Clams

  • Place the band around your knees and lie down on your side
  • While keeping one leg on top of the other, slightly bend your knees in toward your chest
  • Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee as high as you can without rotating your hip
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, then return to the starting position
  • Repeat movement for desired reps and complete both sides

3. Glute Bridges

  • Place the band around your knees and lie on your back with your knees bent and arms by your side
  • Press your heels into the mat, activate your glutes and raise your pelvis off the floor until your body forms one straight line from chin to knee, resting on your shoulders
  • Return to starting position and repeat for desired reps

4. Fire Hydrants

  • Place the band around your knees and start on all fours with your spine in a neutral position, hands under shoulders and knees under hips
  • While keeping your knee bent, elevate your right leg out to the side, ensuring that your hips and shoulders remain parallel with the floor
  • Lower your right leg to the starting position. Repeat for desired reps and switch sides

5. Kickbacks

  • Place the band around your knees and start on all fours with your spine in a neutral position, hands under shoulders and knees under hips
  • Keeping your knee bent, elevate your right leg backwards until your thigh is in line with your spine
  • Lower your right leg to the starting position. Repeat for desired reps and switch sides

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