Glute activation exercises.

We take our butts for granted, but they help us stand up all day.  The largest muscle of our body, the glute max, should push us upstairs and propel us forward when we walk or run.  When it gets lackadaisical our lower back sometimes takes over some of the glutes workload.  Then our back gets achy, sore, overworked, and under appreciated.  This is when we need glute activation exercises.  

So we need to fire those glutes.  It’s not always as easy as it seems.  It’s actually fairly common for the low back to do the work of the butt.  So we need our abs to help us out.  The abs can help us keep the back stabile while we try to get our butt muscles to fire. 

Experiment with this exercise to help make sure you can feel the butt. Remember, the movement will be small because the glutes are already working simply to get the foot off the floor.  They are doing a lot already.

Generally in life, start to notice when you feel your butt.  Do you feel it working when you go upstairs?  If not what do you feel?  Can you change something so that your butt can get involved?  Do you feel your butt when you are walking or running?  If not what do you feel and can you alter anything so that your butt can get involved?  It’s a big muscle with a lot of power.  We need to make sure we take advantage of all it has to offer. 

When we walk our butt should be involved with each step.  Think of the power a skater gets pushing off her back leg.

Always ease in.  I often bypass my butt when I’m running.  So sometimes on runs I try to think about making it work for 90-seconds.  If I feel it in my back, I stop and continue my normal pattern.  We sadly, can’t force anything to change instantly in our body.  But starting to consider it, making sure it’s firing for small bursts, and doing specific exercises to target the muscle will help get it to reactivate. 

The old adage is true: if you don’t use it, you do lose it.  And a weak glute ties in with low back pain.  Working the glute medius (the sides of your hips) is also important for back stability with every step you take.  So for tips on that, check out this video. 

The real point is: if you have back pain or don’t want back pain, give your butt a little consideration. 

And try to make sure it fires with every step you take.


About the Author:

Maggie Downie
Thank you for giving your time to stop and read my blog. I hope it encourages you to keep moving. Move and the body will be happier. And when you're moving you can hike, run, swim in Jell-O, race over non-Newtonian fluids, travel the world or build igloos--if that's your thing. If not, you can watch me do it. This is just a spot to try and feel good about life.

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