Having strong gluteus muscles are important for your body’s overall strength including stabilizing your core muscles and knees. Strong Glutes also prevent muscle imbalances which can impair mobility.
For many individuals glute muscles remain “inactive.” This means the muscles are weak and your body is relying on other parts to take over physical movements.
Performing Glute activation exercises before exercising (especially on a leg focused workout) helps “wake up” the muscles so you can then begin to strengthen them properly and avoid having other potentially stronger muscles take over your movements.
Exercises to try on your own to activate glutes:
Side Donkey Kicks: Down on hands lining hands up under shoulders and knees under hips, extend one leg straight out beside you. Working with your body’s natural range of motion, lift your leg up then slowly lower back down to floor before repeating the movement. Perform 3 sets at 10-15 reps per side.
Bent Knee Donkey Kick: Down on hands lining hands up under shoulders and knees under hips, keep knee bent and flex your foot, lift your knee to hip level. Lower knee back down and repeat the movement. Perform 3 sets at 10-15 reps per side.
Hip Thrust: Lie on your back and line your feet up under knees. Keeping shoulders and feet against floor press your hips up (raising hips as evenly as you can.) Squeeze your butt gently at the top of the movement. Lower hips back down slowly and as evenly as possible. Perform 3 sets at 10-15 reps per side.
Try these exercises before your next leg work out and optimize the results of the one of the most critical muscle groups in your body.