Glute activation is a buzzword you may have heard. But what makes the gluteal muscles so important? The gluteus maximus is the largest and most powerful muscle in the body, and must be fired up properly in order for someone to achieve peak fitness levels. The gluteus medius is a very important stabilizer of the hip. Considering most of us sit on our glutes us all day, therefore rendering the muscles long and underactive, a good warmup in which these muscles are “woken up” can make all the difference in the following workout. My favorite glute activation circuit requires only a miniband, and if done correctly will supercharge the gluteal muscles.
Here’s the glute circuit:
Place a mini band around the legs, just above both knees. Then perform these exercises in succession:
Laying on your side with your knees bent at 45 ° and feet in line with the torso, arc the knee upwards, opening in a “clam shell-like” motion. Make sure to not let the hip move backwards while driving the knee upwards. 12-15 reps.
2) Side Lying Leg Raise:
Directly after the clam set, extend your legs out and raise them with your feet together and your knees totally straight. As you raise your legs, move them slightly backwards as well to reinforce hip extension. Keep the abs tight through this movement so you don’t compensate by arching your low back. 12-15 reps
After performing these two exercises, roll over and repeat on the opposite side. Then continue to the next exercise:
3) Glute Kickback:
Begin on all fours with knees and hands on the floor and a dumbbell in the back of one knee. You can use a band instead by wrapping it around your knee and over your foot. Kick this leg back and up with a 90 degree angle at the knee, pushing your foot towards the ceiling. Lower the leg back down to the start position and repeat.
Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side. 12-15 reps on each side.
4) Glute Bridge:
Lastly, flip onto your back and perform glute bridges with the band around your knees. With feet hip width, flat on the ground and knees bent, raise the hips off the ground and into a glute bridge, holding for 4 seconds at the top. 12-15 reps.
After this circuit, your glutes should be fired up and ready to go!