Glute Activation

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    Glute Activation

    Which workout offers the best glute activation?

    #2
    Tom Goon over at Running Physio offers a lot of resources highlighting "maximal activation exercises' for different muscles. Here is a link to a breakdown of the 'best' glute activation exercises: https://www.running-physio.com/glutes2/

    Here are some highlights:

    "Reiman et al. (2012) completed a systematic review of the literature examining Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medius activation during rehab exercises."

    "From the research findings a good programme for runners wanting to target GMed would be starting with single leg mini-squat, side-lying abduction and pelvic drops and progressing to single leg dead lift, single leg squat and side-lying bridge to neutral."

    "Runners wanting to improve GMax could start with single leg bridge, lunge with neutral trunk and single leg mini-squat and progress to single leg squat, single leg dead lift and forward step up."

    A more specific resource for the Glute Med is their "Evidence Based Rehab for the Gluteus Med"

    Practically speaking, Tom offers a Glutes Circuit:

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    Darebee also offers a lot of great glute workouts. Here's a good one.

    Click image for larger version

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      #3
      From my own knee rehab experience, other than what Blair says, I suggest you really try to make the mind body connection when you do those exercises. So you have to think that you are initiating the bridge, raising the midsection, with your hips/glutes, not the lower back nor your legs, both of which you will use during the bridge process, however. After some practice you will be able to feel it at your glutes.

      Otherwise you can do all of the "glutes exercises" and don't ever feel it at your hips, which is common I supposed. Same with "lunge with neutral trunk," which is the split lunge. If your glutes are weak or you don't have the mind body connection, you won't be able to feel it working because you will be just using your quads the whole time. I suggest you keep doing the single leg bridges until you have enough strength to use your glutes in the split lunges. With single leg bridge you can rest one leg on top of the thigh of the other side, if it's too difficult for you.

      I can assure you about the Killer Legs workout, which I have done before. If you do your best to engage your glutes in every single rep, you will feel the burn, maybe even good DOMS for the next or next couple days.

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        #4
        Heavy barbell squats and dead lifts. If you don't have a barbell you can get a couple of sacks of sand. Other bodyweight exercise and Yoga you have to really tense the muscles of the legs and squeeze them glutes hard.

        A 50 lb sack on each shoulder and 20 squats, or one sack but switch shoulder side each set.

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          #5
          Originally posted by kandy View Post
          From my own knee rehab experience, other than what Blair says, I suggest you really try to make the mind body connection when you do those exercises. So you have to think that you are initiating the bridge, raising the midsection, with your hips/glutes, not the lower back nor your legs, both of which you will use during the bridge process, however. After some practice you will be able to feel it at your glutes.
          I know a number of physical therapists and personal/athletic trainers who really emphasize a glute activation warm-up routine prior to any lower body work. One simple warm-up: lie face down on the ground with a relaxed body and practice clenching your butt without tensing other muscles (this is an ISO activation routine).

          Once you can activate the gluteal chain (some PTs suggest activating the sections of the glutes IE glute med., gluteal min. and gluteal max) then you can progress this exercise so that you activate the individual sides by clenching the right gluteal muscles independently of the left (without activating the hamstrings).

          I think this is helpful. Ultimately, however, as you point out the key is consciousness of the glutes. A lot of exercisers miss key components because of fatigue, speed or carelessness. A simple example is the squat. Many people who perform the squat (single leg or double leg) forget to fully extend the squat in the concentric (UP) phase. It's important finish the squat by clenching the butt at the top of the exercise - really squeezing it, before descending into the eccentric phase of the load. This works the full range of muscles AND it resets the chain.

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