Wake Up Your Glutes
No, I am not suggesting you slam down some super-duper-incredible-eye-popping-muscle-throbbing energy drink that you would feel pulsing through every muscle and vein in your body.
I’m suggesting something that takes no more than a couple of minutes to complete, but can have a big impact on your workouts.
Most people nowadays perform various warm-up drills, stretches, and mobility exercises before strength training.
Now I personally don’t perform some crazy extensive warm-up; I have found that it’s just not necessary for me and doesn’t improve my performance. However, there are two glute activation exercises I use before every workout with both my clients and myself.
Many people have what I call “lazy glutes”. They just don’t fire properly when performing lower body exercises, and even stabilization exercises such as planks. And not using your glutes to their maximum potential is a bad thing.
To help address this issue we incorporate a couple of activation exercises to get the glutes to “wake up” and prepare for the work ahead.
What are the two glute activation exercises we use? So glad you asked.
The Side-Lying Clam and Glute Bridge
Here are the side-lying clam and glute bridge demonstrated by my friend Mike Robertson.
Note – Squeeze your butt hard, especially at the top. Hold the top position for a two-count and then lower back down.
These two activation exercises help to “wake up” the glutes and get them firing. Needless to say I perform these before squats, deadlifts, and other lower body exercises.
However, I also perform them during my warm-up before upper body training as well. Why? Well, think about it – your glutes are involved during push-ups, inverted rows, overhead presses, and other “upper body” exercises.
For example, when you perform a standing overhead press, you should squeeze your butt throughout the entire lift to stabilize your torso. So it stands to reason that getting your glutes “firing” before hand can be beneficial.
After your next warm-up, perform those two activation exercises for two sets of 10-12 repetitions each.
Feel free to perform these two exercises on your off days as well. Only good things can happen. And if those don’t make an impact on your lifting, you can always grab the super-duper-beast-mode energy drink . . .
Give those a try and let me know what you think.
Definitely perform these movements before your strength training session, especially when it’s lower body. I bet you’ll notice a difference.