Your glutes aren't just the muscles that make your bum look nice in a pair of jeans or something you sit down on, they’re actually very important muscles, some regard them as the most important muscle in the body.
When you look at the function of the glute muscles (the gluteals, i.e. the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus mediius muscles), they allow for hip extension and rotation in other words, you use them all the time when walking, squatting, and moving around.
The gluteus maximus, the largest of the gluteal muscles, is one of the strongest muscles in the body too.
in fact, from a functional point of view, strong glute muscles provide the foundation for power and force in many sports and activities. Anyone who is a runner or athlete looking to move faster, jump higher, kick harder needs to work on their glutes
We're all aware of the squat as being one of the best glute exercises but not only to the glutes help with hip movements, they also work to stabilize when other muscles are being fired.
The trouble is, most of us have weak glutes through too much sitting around and not enough exercise and even those that do exercise and do movements like squats, tend to overlook the importance of activating the glutes before getting into the main part of a workout.
Activating the muscles by engaging them through warm up movements get them ready to bear a load or to act as a stabiliser better than if you were to just do a set of squats for example after a casual warm up not focussed on glute activation.
The result is that the under active glutes do not take enough of the load of the weight or exercise and surrounding muscles take the brunt of the force by compensating.
For example, one common complaint of people who deadlift is a sore piriformis muscle in the lower back by the glute mead (quite literally, a pain in the ass!)
One of the most common causes for this are under active glutes. A lot of ladies also want to tone up their glutes and get that "bubble butt" – yet too many are squatting without adequately activating their glutes beforehand meaning the glutes do not get the full effect of the workout.
So, that leads to the question, how do you activate the glutes.
Simple movements to isolate and warm up the glute muscles beforehand are a good idea.
Single Glute Bridges
Bulgarian Split Squats (With no weight at this stage)
and exercises where you can contract your glutes such as Kettlebell swings are a great warm up.
When doing exercises, focus on keeping your glute muscles tight, in fact, try to keep them tight doing day to day stuff too (go on, pretend you're cracking a walnut between your butt cheeks right now hehe)
Happy Squatting and remember, please like and share if you got value from this post