Have you reached a stumbling block when it comes to building a booty? Or maybe you’re trying to add weight to your squat but you’re getting nowhere fast?
We’ve all been there, and it can be super frustrating. You’re putting in all the work, but it feels like there’s very little to show for it.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
The fact of the matter is, you might not realize it, but your butt might be asleep.
To put it simply, in the modern world we sit down all the time. Sitting for extended periods of time can cause the muscles in your body to become weak and switch off, because they’re simply not used enough. One of the most affected areas is, unsurprisingly, your butt.
So, what do you do when your butt’s asleep? Activate it of course!
What is glute activation?
As we said above, when your muscles aren’t used properly, they can very quickly become weak and this can lead to imbalances. These imbalances can make it very difficult for your muscles to contract, which can take certain muscles out of the equation when you’re working out.
For example, you may not be activating the muscles in your butt when you squat, which means you’re working without one of the biggest muscles in the body and you won’t be making the glute progress you dream of.
The way to combat this is to try muscle activation.
By working 10-15 minutes of muscle activation training before you start your workout, you can home in on the areas that need attention and ‘wake up’ those underperforming fibers.
What are the benefits of glute activation
By kickstarting these fibers and increasing the muscle’s ability to contract, you’ll discover a whole host of benefits.
If your glutes are performing at their best, you’ll feel stronger and more stable in your squat. This should also lead to more strength gains, as the more your muscles are working, the more reward you’ll reap.
If you’re trying to create a peachy butt and develop size and shape, then activation is perfect for you too. Needless to say, you need your muscles to be working hard to increase size and shape.
These are the most obvious benefits you’ll note from regular glute activation, but overall, your physique will be balanced, stronger and stable.
This is great for your body in the long run, as research suggests that weak glutes could put you at risk of lower body injury in the future .
How to add glute activation exercises to your workouts
You can enjoy all the benefits of a more balanced physique, and a stronger butt simply by adding a 10-15 minute activation session to the beginning of your workout.
Simply follow these glute activation tips:
- Go slow – Perform each exercise slowly. When you reach peak contraction (for example, the top of an abduction), pause for a moment and squeeze the muscle. This will help to activate the fibers and get the most out of each exercise.
- Use your head – The mind is a powerful thing, and in this situation, it can help you to maximize the results of your workouts. Simply think about the muscles as you work them, both during activation and in your normal training and you’ll be surprised by how much more engaged they become.
- Low weights high reps – Your activation session isn’t the full workout, and you shouldn’t be maxing out on weight. Simply use a light, yet challenging weight over three sets of 8-1 reps.
Glute activation exercises
If you think your glutes could benefit from activation, there are a couple of exercises you need to work into your usual workout routine.
We recommend performing these movements before you start your workout, as this can help fire up the fibers, ready to engage in your full training session.
Side lying hip abduction
This movement focusses in on the gluteus medius, or the muscle that runs along the outer edge of your butt. Activating this is key to creating stable hips and filling out this part of the glutes can also help get rid of ‘hip dip’, and can give you that coveted rounded peach shape.
- Lie on your side with both legs straight and together
- Keeping the bottom leg still, lift the top leg up, staying straight at the knee
- Be sure to keep your hips as still as possible throughout and stop when your leg is at around 50-60 degrees
- Slowly lower the leg back down so your ankles and knees are back together
- Repeat to complete your reps. Turn over to train the other side
Single leg deadlift
The single leg deadlift has been shown to be one of the most effective movements for activating the gluteus maximus. This is the biggest muscle in the body. It can shore up your squat and give you that pert booty shape. Needless to say, getting the most out of this muscle every time you work out is very important no matter your goals.
- Take a light dumbbell in each hand
- Stand with your feet at hip width apart and your arms by your sides
- Keeping your back flat and strong, begin to lean forward, whilst raising your left leg behind you to counter the weight of the dumbbells
- As you bend forward, slightly bend your right leg at the knee. You should feel the exercise pulling at your hamstring and glute in the right leg
- When the dumbbells are below your front knee and your back is almost parallel to the floor, squeeze your right glute as you stand up again and bring your back leg forward to meet it
- Alternate legs as you work through your sets
Resisted side steps
You’ll need a looped resistance band to work this movement, but any good gym should have them. If not, you can buy some for a couple of dollars, and they’re worth the cash as they are the secret weapon to any good butt workout.
This movement works the gluteus maximus and medius, giving you a fully rounded activation session.
- Take a resistance band and loop it around your ankles
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart
- Drop into a half squat
- With your right foot, step out to the side so you’re in a wider stance
- Then, step your left foot in so they’re back at shoulder-width apart
- Repeat in one direction until you’ve completed your reps for that side, before going in the other direction to work the other side
Whatever your goals, whether it’s growing strength or developing muscle and burning fat, ensuring your glutes are working to their best is essential. Start introducing some glute activation exercises into your workouts to see how you can improve your progress.
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