If you follow any fitness accounts on Instagram then you’ve probably heard about “activating your glutes”! I had a look into what this means and how to do it. Simply put, activating your glutes means turning them on and ensuring they get a good workout!
Why do we need to activate our glutes?
Our glutes should get used during nearly every leg based exercise, but have you noticed that after a squat or lunge session your quads and hamstrings are sore but you can’t feel your glutes at all? This happens because your glutes have not been active during your exercise session – they have not been focussed on and therefore end up getting neglected. There is much debate over what has caused our glutes to generally become so inactive, but a popular reason is that we spend so much of our time sitting down (hello desk job!). When we sit down we don’t use our glutes, and you know the saying; “If you don’t use it, you lose it!”
How to activate them
So to get your glutes switched on, stimulated, and more likely to partake in the rest of your workout, sometimes it helps to do glute activating exercises prior to commencing any other leg exercises. This will maximise the work your glutes are doing throughout your leg workout as well as during these glute specific exercises. Here are 3 exercises that you can do to activate your glutes at the start of a workout:
- Mini band walks: Place a mini band around your feet (yes, your feet). Walk side to side, keeping your upper body as still as possible. This is a sure fire way to get your glutes burning!
- Clam shell: Lay on your right side with your legs slightly bent and resting on top of each other. Gently raise your left knee off the right knee, keeping your feet together. Stop when you cannot lift your knee anymore without keeping your feet together still. Slowly lower your knee back down. Repeat this 15 times on each side.
- Single leg glute bridge: Lay on your back with your hands by your sides. Bend your knees up while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Now lift your right leg off the floor carefully. Squeeze your glutes, and while keeping your hips stable, slowly raise your hips off the floor so that you are resting on your upper back. Slowly lower your hips back down. Repeat this 15 times on each leg.