Glute Activation

Courtney Plaisted


     Aside from the obvious benefits of having a round and shapely set of glutes, learning how to properly utilize and activate the muscles in your glutes could allow you to reach new levels of power and strength in your training.


     The muscles in the glutes are one of the largest and most powerful muscle groups in the body. Although you may think you’re doing exercises that strengthen and work the muscle, your glutes still may not be firing as they should be.  Aside from the potential risk of injury, this could also limit your ability to reach your full potential of power and strength.


     Simply put, before we begin our training session, our glutes are “dead.”  The majority of our day-to-day activities do not involve the muscles in the glutes, especially if we spend most of our day sitting at a desk.  Glute activation involves “waking up” the glutes in order to get them ready to fire and engage during our workout.  When we neglect this step, our lower back, knees, and core overcompensate for the lack of glute activation, which could lead to pain or injury.


     In order to get your glutes firing, it’s important to include a variety of activation exercises into your warm-up routine.  These exercises are especially beneficial prior to squat and deadlift training days, but could be incorporated on multiple days of the week in order to get the muscle accustomed to proper activation. 


     Below are a few of my favorite glute activation exercises.  I like to use a heavy resistance band when performing the exercises in order to increase intensity and the ability to feel the glutes firing.


Glute Bridge

Donkey Kicks



Squatting Side Steps


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