Glute Activation – 3 Must-Do Moves to Fire Up Those Glutes!

Activating or ‘firing up’ the glutes increases the amount of work done by our glute muscles when performing exercises which also employ the glutes (lunges, squats, deadlifts). When the glutes are inactive, the body will utilize other muscles to perform the movements instead.

Here are 3 of the top glute activation exercises you can knock out in less than 10 minutes before hitting the squat rack.

I like to do all 3 then repeat for 2-3 sets.

  1. Glute Bridge

bridge start

bridge

Lying on your back with your hands by your sides, legs bent and heels positioned firmly on the floor, toes up, keep hips stable while you raise them off the floor, squeezing your glutes. Lower your hips back down to the floor and repeat for 20 reps.

*kick it up a notch by performing single leg glute bridges. Extend one leg outwards keeping it off the ground as you lift with the opposite leg for 20 reps then switch.

1 leg bridge

2. Clamshell

Lying on your right side with your legs slightly bent, resting on top of each other, you can rest your head on your arm or prop your head onto your right hand. Keeping your feet together, raise your left knee off of your right until you cannot lift your left knee anymore without separating your feet. Squeeze the glutes as you lift. Slowly lower your leg to bring your knees together again. Perform 20 reps on each side.

*place a band around the knees when performing this exercise to create more tension.

clam start

clam

3. Frog Pumps

Start by getting into the glute bridge position. Tucking your chin into your chest and digging elbows into the ground, put the bottoms of your feet together and bring heels as close to your butt as possible. Bridge as you squeeze your glutes then slowly lower back down. Perform 20 reps.

frog

 

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Glute Training – The Benefits of Strong Glutes

3-Gluteus-MusclesDid you know that he Gluteus Maximus is the single largest muscle in the human body? Attached to the Gluteus Medius and Minimus, the three muscles work together to abduct, rotate and extend the hip. Strong glutes add many benefits including better posture, injury prevention and enhanced athletic performance.

Better Posture – Tight, shortened hip flexors, weak, over-stretched hip extensors and glutes that ‘forget’ how to activate properly all contribute to bad posture. This can cause forward tilting hips which then give the appearance of a ‘gut’.

Strengthening the glutes with exercises such as squats, lunges and deadlifts will help create balance and in return improve posture, reduce the look of a protruding belly and even add an inch or two to your height.

Injury Prevention & Pain Reduction – If your glutes are weak then other muscles will be used to pick up the slack. These muscles are then at risk for becoming overstressed, resulting in pain and compression in the lumbar spine, hips and knees. Weak glutes can also lead to poor alignment of the entire lower body putting you at great risk for injury.

Protect your hips and knees and reduce injury by incorporating exercises such as hip thrusts to your routine.

Enhanced Athletic Performance – Strong glutes are key for accelerating, decelerating, changing directions and creating explosive power. Endurance and speed are improved with proper glute training as well.

Safer & Heavier Lifting –While a strong core is imperative to keeping a sturdy, stable spine during heavy lifting, the glutes play a major role in safely transferring force across your body resulting in more power and reduced risk of injury.

Fat Loss & Maintence – The Glutes and Hamstrings are two of the largest muscle groups and training these muscles using compound movements such as squats and lunges will have you building muscle and burning fat while continuing to burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout.