Activating your glutes before your workout is essential if you struggle to feel exercises in your glutes. It's important to wake up your glutes before a workout so that you can stimulate your glutes for growth.
Having dormant or inactive glutes could be the reason that they aren't growing. An indication of your glutes not being activated is if after completing a squat your back or quads end up being sore and you're not feeling anything in your glutes.
To activate your glutes, put together a routine that will wake them up so they actually perform during your workout. The routine doesn't need to be any longer than 5 minutes.
An idea of what to include could be glute bridges, clams, fire hydrants and donkey kicks. This ensures you are targeting all of your gluteal muscles.
Lie on your back, with knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Keep arms at your side with palms down
Squeeze your glutes to raise your hips off the ground in a slow, controlled motion
Knees, hips and shoulders should form a straight line
Maintian the squeeze on your glutes throughout the full range of motion, and keep the abs drawn into your spine to support your back
Hold at the top, and control the movement to return your hips to the floor
Lie on your side - keep hips and shoulders in a straight line, and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle from your body
Your hips and shoulders should be stacked directly on top of each other
Draw in your abdominals, including the deep abdominal muscles
Gently rotate your top leg at the hip so that the knee lifts. Go as far as you can while maintaining the alignment of your hips
To ensure you don't put undue strain on the neck, and have a solid foundation in the upper body, rest your head on your arm and place the hand of your other arm on the floor in front of your chest.
Position yourself on all fours, with hands under shoulders and knees under hips
Engage your abdominals, keep your hips flat, and raise your right knee directly out to the side, as high as you can without disturbing the alignment of your hips
Hold at the top for a couple of seconds, and gradually lower your right leg to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg for a number of reps
Switch sides and repeat by raising your left leg
Position yourself on all fours on a mat with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips
Keep your right knee bent at 90 degrees and flex the foot as you lift the knee until it is level with the hip
Lower the knee without touching the floor and repeat the lift
Once you've completed the reps on the right leg, switch legs
Your hip flexors and glutes work together, opposing each other. Stretching your hip flexors before a workout can also help with glute activation. The hip flexors are a group of muscle around the top of your thighs that helps to connect your upper leg to your hip. The hip flexors are vital in lower body movements like squats.
Activating your glutes and stretching your hip flexors will ensure that your glutes are being stimulated for growth in your workout. Give 'em a go and see if you feel the burin in your glutes!
What quick combination of these will you try before your next lifting day?
Love the journey, J.