How To Activate Your Glutes (Women-Focused Guide)

How To Activate Your Glutes (Women-Focused Guide)

Last Updated on May 13, 2022 by Femniqe Editorial


The gluteus muscles, or glutes, are a large and powerful group of muscles in the buttocks.

These muscles are key to achieving your fitness goals, as they provide strength and stability in the lower body.

As such, glute activation can help to reduce muscle imbalance and the risk of injury.

To ensure that your glutes are activated during exercise, pay attention to the sensation in your muscles and make sure that you feel the muscles contracting and burning.

Why Are Your Glutes Not Activated? 

The three main muscles are Gluteus Maximus (the large, primary muscle that shapes your backside), Gluteus Medius, and Gluteus Minimus.

The glutes are the major structure that make up your butt and assist in moving your body. Glute activation exercises combine with core muscles to support your backbone and hold your balance in place.

Booty activation warm-up and exercises target issues like injury, asymmetry, and discomfort due to weak and dysfunctional gluteal muscles.

A major factor in why your glutes are loosened is the amount of sitting we do throughout the day.

Sitting causes your glute muscles to be inactive and your hip flexors and hamstrings to loosen, which causes the tightening of such muscles and shifts in the alignment of your pelvis, hips, and lumbar spine.

What Is Dead Butt Syndrome?

Dr. Stu McGill, a professor of Spine Biomechanics, states that the inability to contract or activate is called glute amnesia.

It is important to remember that the glutes are not always used even when doing glute-based workouts and this lack of engagement is a misleading sign of glute amnesia.

Dr. Vladimir Janda explains that the first explanation for this is that there’s not enough muscle development.

This usually tightens the back extensor and hip flexor muscles, abdominal muscles, and causes weakness in the gluteal muscle group.

The standard term for this postural problem is called Lower Cross Body Syndrome.

Why Is Glute Activation Important?

Glute activation is key when looking to grow your butt. As we often spend a lot of time seated or lying down, this can cause our glutes to become extremely lazy. 

Training these muscles before exercising the lower body will ensure they are working to their fullest potential.

The funny-looking steps that Jane Fonda used to do in her leotard with ankle weights are an example of glute activation.

They are the movements that the majority of people, especially young men, resist. In addition, glute activation is a major element of sports warm-ups, and trainers and rehab experts often recommend these to their clients. 

Forward and sideways walking with bands all around knees or thighs, side-lying clams, and low-load glute bridge are among the most common practices.

When you do not do glute or booty activation exercises, you may notice your overactive hip flexors fire up. 

You may also observe that the lower back and hamstrings don’t compensate and get overworked. 

Additionally, your glute stimulation will help you minimize your risk of injury. It can also alleviate back pain and relieve your muscles from stress.

Since we spend a lot of time sitting, our hips and glutes can become tight and underactive. However, anyone can make all those weird glute activation moves.

Pro athletes, both male and female, as well as those who sit at a computer for 9 hours a day can relate. 
You may want to try to include the glute activation in your warm-up exercise to help you in defining a mind-body correlation. It also contracts the muscles effectively.

When doing lower body exercises, you want to ensure that your glutes are activated so your booty will grow and not just your legs. Glute activation will also help you grow your glutes much faster!

How To Activate Your Glutes Correctly Everytime

Extending your hips and squeezing your glutes is a good way to activate your glutes.  This is especially important for people who are recovering from low back pain. 

Contracting your glutes during a deadlift, squat, hip thrust, or any other Glute Bridge variation will also be helpful.

Doing a few simple workouts like clams, crab runs, donkey kicks, and glute bridges as part of your warm-up routine is a good way to get your glutes activated. 

Using a resistance band or weights can help you get more out of these exercises, but you can  do them without any extra weight.

The Clam Shell 

  • If you have a resistance band, lie on your right side and put it around your lower thighs. 
  • Rest your head on your right arm and align your feet with your glutes by slowly bending your knees and pulling them forward. You can take a deep breath in while you’re doing this.
  • Exhale and lower your right knee back to the starting position. Repeat this ten times on one side before moving to the other side.

The Crab Walk 

  • Start by standing with your feet on the ground hip-width apart, like you would with a resistance band. 
  • Then, bend your knees until your upper legs are parallel to the ground. Be sure that your knees stay in line with your feet throughout the movement. 
  • Take a deep breath in, then exhale as you step your right foot to the right then take the left foot in the same direction.
  • Maintain a squat position throughout the exercise and continue in the same direction or alternate.

Donkey Kick Steps

  • To begin, set up your yoga mat and position your resistance band looped around your upper thighs if you want extra resistance. 
  • Next, bring your knees below your hips and place your hands below your shoulders.
  • Take a deep breath in and slowly exhale as you kick your right leg upward, keeping your knees bent and your right foot flexed.
  • Hold for a second while contracting your glutes.
  • Finally, relax into the starting position.

Glute Bridges

  • Lie flat on your back on a yoga mat with a resistance band looped across your lower thighs if you need extra resistance.
  • Bend your knees, feet flat on the ground, making sure you are hip-width apart and your spine is flat. Keep your arms rested on the mat by your sides. 
  • Inhale deeply and exhale while pressing your heels against the mat, working your glutes up so your hips are off the floor, forming a straight line from your chin to knee. Shoulders should be resting.
  • Repeat the position and perform regularly.

Fire Hydrant Exercise

The Fire Hydrant is a great way to work the gluteus medius, which is the main muscle responsible for balance.

A strong glute medius will help you run faster and change position more easily, which can help prevent injuries to the hip, knee, and hamstring.

  • To do the Fire Hydrant, start with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Then, raise one knee and flex your feet, keeping both knees bent.
  • After you have bent one knee to a 90 degree angle, you may raise your other leg to the side.
  • Try to keep your foot from rising above your knee as you raise your leg as high as you can. Squeeze your thigh muscles as you raise your leg.

Bird Dog Exercise

If you want to improve your core strength, the Bird Dog is a must-do move. It’s especially important for new moms who are just getting back into exercising.

  • When doing the Bird Dog, it’s essential to shift gradually. You can add resistance by binding your hand to your heel, or connecting an ankle weight to your leg.
  • These two plank variants are excellent anti-rotational central movements so avoid rotating.
  • To do them, kick each leg straight up and back, then reach your opposite arm straight in front of your head.
  • Your arms and legs should be reaching in opposite directions, which will tighten your glutes and pull them in toward your back.
  • The next step is bending your elbow and knee under your body as you lower your arms and leg. Try touching your knee to your elbow before you stretch. This will also tighten your muscles and help you get those abs.

Should You Activate Your Glutes Every Day?

Avoid sitting for long periods of time where your glutes are completely unused. Instead, start standing up and walking or stretching every 30 minutes.

For an added “wake up” workout for your glutes, do the following reps and sets every day: two activation training sets, the glute bridge, and the clamshell.

In addition, do one toe raise exercise during the day. This will help to get rid of your sitting periods.

Glute Activation Workout Daily Moves:

Wake-up Exercise:
You can do wake-up exercise done 3 to 5 times within the day with 5 mins rest.

Glute Bridges:
You may do Glute Bridges in a day at least three sets, and ten reps with 5 mins rest in between.

Clam Shells:
Do Clam Shells 3 sets, repeat 10 x per side.

As your glute activation improves, you’ll find you make progress with your workouts. You may eventually find that you don’t need to do glute activation exercises every day.

Your main lower body workouts are key to stimulating, reinforcing and developing your glutes. However, it is just as important to maintain a consistent strategy to achieve your desired results.

Why Won’t My Glutes Activate?

Your glutes, iliotibial band (ITB) and hamstrings, all work to stabilize as well as maintain hip and knee positions.

If you have weak glutes, your pelvic and hip positions will be off, which will cause your knees to move improperly. This can lead to pain in your knees, as well as your muscles s the hamstring muscles and ITB compress to try to stabilize the knee.

Additionally, the bicep tendon may become misaligned, causing discomfort in your muscles.
The pre-contraction of muscles is essential to increasing performance. The right environment must be created in order to maximize results.

The opposite of fatigue is potentiation , and being rested is more likely to increase than decrease muscle performance.

Pre-fatiguing a muscle can help improve muscle contraction. This means targeting the muscles you want to work on, and feeling the burn. However, this doesn’t guarantee better performance.

Closing thoughts

If you’re looking to grow your glutes, you need to make sure you’re keeping them activated.

This not only helps them grow faster, but also gets you closer to your goal of a bubble butt! Try incorporating some of these exercises into your routine to see results.


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