exercises

-

How To Activate Your Glutes Before A Workout!

How To Activate Your Glutes Before A Workout!

How To Activate Your Glutes Before A Workout!
How to Activate Your Glutes Before a Workout

One of the most common questions that I get asked by girls completing my BBG workouts is what exercises they should do to help target their butt! What you might not know is that virtually every leg exercise does this, at least to some extent! Whether it be bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges, or gym-based leg exercises, all of these require at least some work to be done by your butt muscles. 

How can I target my butt muscles?

How many times have you done a leg or butt-specific workout only to wake up the next day with sore quads and hamstrings, and your butt feels as though it hasn’t done a thing?!

Today I’m going to talk about what might be causing this and what you can do to make sure you’re getting a butt-burning workout!

Your glute muscles

When we say that we’re working the butt muscles, the group of muscles that we are really referring to are our glutes! Our glutes, or gluteals, are made up of three main muscles in the backside region. 

Our glutes are a very important muscle group because they help control a number of movements done by our lower body and also help to maintain good posture. Our glute muscles are some of the largest muscles in the whole body! 

When our glutes are not working like they should be, it can cause other muscles to start taking on extra load, which may cause issues with our posture, lead to muscle pain, and potentially increase our chances of injury. It can also explain why our glutes don’t always pull up as sore after a leg workout!

Glute activation definition

One of the issues that we face in this day and age is that we are becoming more and more sedentary. This essentially means we are spending less time moving around and more time sitting — if you work in an office or at a desk all day, you know what I’m talking about! 

As well as making it much easier for us to gain weight, sitting can actually cause our glutes to become ‘underactive’, which means that they are less active than what they should be. Because of this, they might not be as strong as they could be.

In order to counteract this, it’s important to work on ‘activating’ your glutes  — some people also refer to this as ‘firing up your glutes’. 

Essentially, this just means trying to strengthen them by focusing on using them more!

How do I activate my glutes?

To fire up your glutes, you need to focus on contracting your butt muscles (squeezing them slightly) as you perform glute activation exercises or a lower body workout. 

When performing these kinds of exercises, you should aim to focus on your glutes being the muscles that power the movement that you are doing. For example, if you are performing a squat: really concentrate on contracting your butt muscles as you stand up. Try to ensure your butt muscles are the main muscles guiding you through the movement as you stand back up, rather than relying too much on your quads (front of your thighs).

This can be a bit hard to focus on if you’re not used to doing it! So try this little test: when you do any glute activation exercise or lower body exercise, you want your butt to feel tight and tense. This is done by contracting your glutes (squeezing the butt muscles). Then, imagine if someone was to poke you in the butt — would it feel soft or hard? When you are correctly activating your glutes, the muscles should be hard to touch if they are properly contracted! 

One way that we can help increase the amount of work done by our glute muscles is by doing glute activation exercises before starting a workout.
 

free trial - bbg stronger 2.0free trial - bbg stronger 2.0free trial - bbg stronger 2.0

Glute activation exercises

As you know, one of the purposes of a warm up is to increase ‘muscle firing’, which is basically our brain telling our muscles to wake up and get ready to exercise. Like I’ve mentioned before, it is so important to warm up before any strenuous activity so that you don’t risk injury and can get the most out of your workout!

Glute activation exercises are much like a warm up, except that they focus specifically on waking up your glute muscles.

These exercises are not demanding movements on your body which means you can do them whenever you like — either before your warm up, or after your warm up, right before you begin your lower body workout. 

Exercise instructions

Here are three glute isolation exercises that you can use to help you get your glutes firing and allow you to get the most out of your next lower body workout! 

Perform each exercise for the specified number of reps, then repeat all exercises so that you complete two circuits in total. 

Glute Kickback Exercise

Glute kickback

  1. Start on all fours, ensuring that your wrists are directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
     
  2. While keeping your hips as stable as possible, straighten your right leg behind you and lift it as high as you can, before slowly lowering it and returning to all fours.
     
  3. Complete 15 repetitions on one side before switching sides and completing another 15 repetitions.

Tip: While you are trying to extend your leg as high as you can, it is important that you do not arch your back. Remember, you are trying to make sure that your glutes are doing all of the work! You can also modify this exercise by keeping your right leg bent rather than straightening it.

Glute bridge

Single-leg glute bridge

  1. Start by lying on your back with your hands by your sides, legs bent and feet positioned firmly on the floor. 
     
  2. Carefully lift your right leg off the floor.
     
  3. While keeping your hips as stable as possible, squeeze your glutes and slowly raise your hips off the floor, resting on your upper back. 
     
  4. Complete 15 repetitions with your right leg off the floor, before switching sides and completing another 15 repetitions.

Tip: You can modify this exercise by placing both feet on the ground instead of just one.

Clam

Clam

  1. Start by lying on your right side with your legs slightly bent, knees and hips resting on top of each other. You can either rest your head on your arm or prop your head onto your right hand if this is more comfortable.
     
  2. Keeping your feet together, gently raise your left knee off your right. When you cannot lift your left knee anymore without separating your feet, slowly lower it to bring your knees together again.
     
  3. Complete 15 repetitions on one side before switching sides and completing another 15 repetitions.

Glute activation exercise to do at work or home

If you really want to work on improving your glute strength, you can try this exercise whenever you’re on your feet and have a few spare moments.

  1. Plant both feet on the floor with knees slightly bent.
     
  2. Using your glutes, gently raise your right leg out to the side, ensuring that your glutes are doing all the work.
     
  3. Slowly lower your right leg. Complete 15 repetitions on one side before switching sides and completing another 15 repetitions.

Get your glutes firing today!

The main thing to remember when focusing on each glute activation exercise is technique. Don’t try to push through the reps as fast as you can. Instead, focus on activating your glutes correctly. 

These exercises should increase the amount of work done by your glutes during your main workout. I encourage you to do them any time your lower body muscles are going to be used in a workout — whether it’s part of my BBG program, or if you go for a run. 

Once you have these exercises down pat, you may find that you are able to activate these muscles without even thinking about it!  

Ladies, I hope these glute activation exercises help you! Remember, it’s also really important to complete post-workout stretches to make sure you are looking after your muscles as best as you can and to help with recovery.

Now it’s time for you to get your butt into gear — literally! 

Love, Kayla xx

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.

<# for (var i = 0; i < comments.length; i++) { var s = comments[i]; #>

<#= s.user.username #><#= moment(s.created_at * 1000).fromNow() #>

<#= s.html_body #> <# if (s.images) { #>

<# } #>
Reply Like Unlike
<# if (s.replied_comments_count) { #> <# for (var j = 0; j < s.replied_comments.length; j++) { var c = s.replied_comments[j]; var lastComment = s.replied_comments[s.replied_comments.length - 1]; #>

<#= c.user.username #><#= moment(c.created_at * 1000).fromNow() #>

<#= c.html_body #> <# if (c.images) { #>

<# } #>
Reply Like Unlike
<# } #> <# if (s.replied_comments_count > 3) { #> Show more replies <# } #> <# } #>
<# } #>
<# for (var i = 0; i < comments.length; i++) { var s = comments[i]; #>

<#= s.user.username #><#= moment(s.created_at * 1000).fromNow() #>

<#= s.html_body #> <# if (s.images) { #>

<# } #>
Reply Like Unlike
<# } #>

Leave a comment...
Sort by: