Who should do glute activation exercises?
- Athletes of all kinds, especially those looking to build power and strength
- People who sit many hours in a day
- People with hip, knee, or low back pain
Why do I need to activate my glutes?
The muscles around your hip all have different jobs. Some are responsible for small movements and others are responsible for big powerful movements. When your glute muscles aren’t firing properly, the other muscles attempt to do the job for them. These muscles become overworked and can cause pain in the low back, knee, and hip areas. They can also cause injuries in the low back and hips. To prevent this from happening, you need to go back to the beginner exercises and retrain your brain to use your glutes.
How to activate your glutes:
This is a tricky exercise, because at first you may not feel like you are doing much. The key is to get very good at contracting your glutes (buttock muscle group) so that they turn on during every day activities such as walking, standing up from a seated position and climbing stairs. Begin by testing yourself. Place your hands on your low back and rise into a glute bridge. If your back muscles tighten before your glutes or feel extremely hard, you need to teach your glutes to activate. Then repeat placing your hands on your hamstrings (the top and back of your thighs.) If you find you need to work on your on these muscles, the best way to target them is to simply contract them while still. Squeeze your buttock tightly to build strength.
When should I exercise these muscles?
It is best to begin your day with these exercises, as it can build better movement patterns for all the activities you will be doing throughout the day. You can also practice glute activation before a workout to encourage better form. You can vary your exercise by contracting your muscles and holding for 10 seconds or trying to build speed by contracting as many times as possible in 30 seconds. Both will be beneficial.