Glute activation refers to the process of waking up your glutes in order to help them work properly during exercise. This is often done with specific exercises and stretches that target the gluteal muscles. Glute activation is important because strong, powerful glutes are key for everything from squats and deadlifts to sprinting and jumping. Think of it as getting your glutes ready for action (2).
How Does Glute Activation Work?
Without getting too nerdy, here’s what you need to know about each muscle and why it’s important:
The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the area and is responsible for hip extension (think: moving your leg back behind you).
The gluteus medius and minimus are smaller muscles that attach to the side of the hip and help with stabilizing the hip and keeping the legs from moving too far out to the side.
Now that you know a little bit more about the muscles we’re targeting, you might wonder why glute activation is so important.
Why Is Glute Activation Important?
There are a few reasons why glute activation is key, especially if you’re someone who works out regularly.
First, if your glutes aren’t firing properly, you’re more likely to injure yourself. This is because other muscles would have to pick up the slack, which could lead to strain or tears (1).
Finally, glute activation can help alleviate pain in the lower back and knees. Weak glutes can often lead to imbalances in the body, which can put extra strain on these areas (1).
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Should You Do Glute Activation Before Workout?
Yes, you should definitely do some sort of glute activation before your workout. This will help ensure that your muscles are properly fired up and ready to go.
Glute Activation Exercises Before Workout
This glute activation workout by BetterMe will help get your muscles ready for action. It includes a variety of exercises which target all 3 of the main muscles in your butt:
Simple, yet effective, this workout can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment. It will help warm up your muscles and get your body ready for a more intense workout.
If you’d like to try a glute activation band workout, here are a few exercises to get you started:
- Band squats with backward reach
- Banded side steps
- Banded donkey kicks
- Banded clam shells
- Fire hydrants with band resistance
The Bottom Line
Glute activation is important for everything from preventing injury to improving performance. Glute activation exercises are those that target all 3 of the main muscles in the area. Try the 5-minute glute activation workout from BetterMe to start you off.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Does short-term gluteal activation enhance muscle performance? (2017,nih.gov)
- Effect of a gluteal activation warm-up on explosive exercise performance (2017,nih.gov)