Glute activation is an essential part of your workout, to be performed at the beginning of your leg & glute session. This is your body's wake up call that gets all your muscles switched on and ensures the muscles are fully engaged and activated to perform the exercises. This not only helps with your workout performance but it also boosts muscle growth and reduces any injury.
Before your go into your workout with heavy weights or resistance bands, warm up with glute activation for 5 - 10 minutes. You can do this with either just body weight or a resistance band for extra activation! Whilst your warming up, think mind to muscle connection and this will boost your performance.
Here are some great glute activation exercises:
Starting on all fours place your hands directly level to your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. Keeping as square and aligned as possible, extend your right leg out behind you and lift it as high as it will go. Then lower slowly back to the starting position. Complete 15 – 20 reps before switching legs.
Be sure to remain as straight as possible – keep your spine and neck in line – and be careful not to arch your back. They key is to feel it in your glute so that these become activated. It may be quite difficult to start so you can reduce the reps until you feel a slight burn.
Tip: If you struggle with joint or muscle pain, this can also be done in the standing up position. Just raise your legs with your hips straight.
Lie on your back with your legs bent and shoulders and arms placed straight along the sides of your body.
Using your glute and leg muscles, lift your hips off the floor towards to ceiling as high as possible resting weight on your upper back. Hold for 2 seconds at the top and squeeze your glute muscles – then lower slowly back down (but do not rest on the ground). Repeat for 15 reps.
Tip: To make things more difficult, you could try doing a single leg glute bridge by raising one leg at a time
Lie on your left side of your body, propping your head up with your arm and placing the other arm in front of your body. Whatever is most comfortable for your neck. Legs are close together and slightly bent at the knees.
Keeping your feet placed together, raise your top right knee off the other to as much as possible without your feet becoming apart. And then slowly bring them back together. Complete 15 –20 reps on one side and then switch.
Tip: Whilst opening, squeeze your glute muscles as much as possible and keep as aligned and square as possible. Technique is more important than getting through the reps.
Use these exercises to activate your glutes or to simply warm before taking on more weighted exercises. You will start to see the difference in your form and start reaping the desired benefits from your workouts!