Whether you want to build a better butt or help strengthen your back and prevent pain, activating your gluteal muscles (maximus, medius and minimus) is essential. While excessive sitting can develop ‘gluteal amnesia’ so can not focusing on activation of the glutes during your workouts.
Do you actually take the time to think of your glutes engaging during squats or deadlifts. Actually do we ever think of our glutes engaged just coming from a sitting to standing position? Give it a try next time and think of squeezing your butt at the top of the lift. A ever so simple but easy way to be aware of activation of the glutes. In the meantime, before your workouts or if you have some time at home, give these four exercises a try.
Prone Hip Opener – Laying on your stomach pull one knee up and out to the side like shown in the picture. Return back to your starting position and alternate sides.
Clam – Laying one your side, keep feet touching and lift your top knee up like show in the picture. Feet stay touching. Hold for a 3 count and then lower back down. Repeat 8x total and switch sides.
Kneeling ABduction – Start on all fours and open one leg out to the side keeping the knee bent and the hips square to the ground. Pause for a three count and lower back down. Repeat 8x and switch sides.
Donkey Kick – Start on all fours and lift one bent knee off the mat, pressing the heel toward the ceiling (be careful not to overarch the back). Squeeze the butt and then lower the knee down to a hover over the ground and repeat 15x total and then switch sides.