Glute activation is not only important for results aesthetically but also for a healthy, pain-free back! Weak glutes equal a weak lower back.
In order for all 3 of the muscles in the bum to fire up and work properly whilst working out, we need to make sure they are active and awake before exercising. One of the best ways to do this is by introducing a resistance band. Ideally, a heavy enough resistance to feel it working.
Before any weights are used in your workout try out the following 5 exercises to activate the glutes.
Kneeling side leg raises
Place the band at the lower part of the thigh. Just above the knee so as not to put pressure on the joint. Raise the leg up sideways against the resistance. Slowly control the leg back down. By doing so, you are activating through the side of the glutes and into the leg.
Squeeze tight through your glutes. Take the leg out and up behind you. Control the leg back down slowly making those muscles work harder.
Activating deep into the glute and waking up the right muscles.
Lift up into a bridge position and on to the toes. Place the band around lower part of the thigh again, just above the knee. Once in the air, pulse out the knees against the resistance. Squeeze tight through the glutes to make the muscles work harder.
Keep this exercise simple. Feet slightly wider than hip distance. Keep the band around the lower thigh. Sit back into your squat position, keeping your heels down. Squeeze tight through the glutes and thrust the hips forward keeping the glute tight. You should now be feeling a little warmth through the muscle.
Side Lying Leg Raises to Activate the Glutes
Using the band around the lower thigh area, lay on your side. Drop the head onto the supporting hand. Raise one leg up against the resistance. Squeeze through the side of the glutes and control the leg back down slowly. Repeat the same on the other side.
By using all of the above exercises to activate through the glutes, they create stronger links through the posterior chain. This basically means, the muscles throughout the back of the body all talk to each other properly.
Strengthening the glutes not only makes for a more toned bum which is an added bonus, but it also supports the lower back. Creating a stronger, more mobile body and reducing unnecessary pressure from the lumbar spine.
Looking for more leg workout inspo? Take a look at our best exercises to tone your inner thighs.