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How To Activate Your Glutes | Strength And Conditioning For Your Gluteal Muscles

– If you go to the Physio with
a hip, knee, or foot problem then you’re quite likely to come out with glute exercise as
part of your homework. But why is this? And what are the best glute
exercises for triathletes? Well in this video we’re
going to be addressing the issues linked with weak bottom muscles and how best to get them firing properly. (calm music) Your gluteals or your glutes
as they are more commonly know, are a group of muscles
that make up your bottom. And they consist of glute
min, glute med and glute max. Now they all work together
but you’ve probably most likely heard of glute max. That’s the largest of the three, and that one works to extend your hip. So it takes your leg backwards. Glute med and glute min
tend to work together, and they help with rotation. So moving your leg in that direction, and also abduction which is taking your leg away from the midline. An easy way to see if your glutes are firing properly is
he Trendelenburg test. Now for this you just need to
stand in front of a mirror. Make sure the hips are level, and then move your weight onto one leg, lift the other one up. If your hips drop to the
side of the lifted leg, then that’s a sign that your glutes on the weight bearing leg
aren’t actually firing properly to be able to keep your hips level. Make sure you check on both sides as well. You might well have enough
strength and activation in these muscles when standing, but when you start
walking and then running it’s gonna test them further. Now it is normal to see a
little bit of a hip drop when you’re running on either side. But if you see an excessive
movement of the hip then you’re gonna be losing energy and it’s detrimental to your run. The best way to work this
out is to run on a treadmill and get someone to film you
from behind or in front. You can watch the hips. Or get an expert eye to watch you. (upbeat music) If these muscles aren’t firing properly then it’s gonna effect the
efficiency of your running game. So, it’s time to wake them up. Here are three activation exercises that are gonna get your glute
med and glute min firing. (upbeat music) So let’s start. We’re gonna do the hip drop. So basically replicating
the Trendelenburg test. All you need to do is find a step and then come up to
standing on just one leg with the other leg off the edge. Now from here you’re
just gonna drop your foot towards the ground on your
non weight bearing leg by using your hip muscles
and then from here, activating the weight bearing glute you’re gonna pull your
hips back towards neutral. So you drop down and then you control it with a squeeze of your right
bottom back up to neutral. Repeat five times and then
swap to the other side. (upbeat music) Okay. For this exercise you need
a band around your ankles. Now you can just be near
something to hold onto for a little extra bit of stability. And you’re gonna be standing on one leg and the other leg is
gonna be doing the work as you take your ankle away from the other one in a abduction exercise. So you’re activating this glute to pull it away from the midline. And go until you feel
the end of resistance. Bring it back down. The whole action should be controlled. Make sure you do 10 on both sides. Now if for some reason
you don’t have a band and your don’t have access to one, you can actually improvise this exercise and you can stand up against a wall, and you push your ankle away against the wall in an isometric hold. And you can do that at different angles, so you just move your body further away. (calm music) Right final one for activating your glute med and glute min are clams. Make sure that you’re keeping your hips at 90 degrees to the ground. So you’re gonna be lying on your side. A good way to check this
is lie against a wall so your back is flat against that. Knees slightly bent. Ankles on top of each other. Now from there you’re
going to lift your knee up towards the ceiling keeping your ankles touching each other. Now the reason for that it makes sure it’s a rotational exercise of your hip. If you find this really
easy you can always add a band around your knees
to add to the resistance but make sure you’ve got really good form. Repeat it 10 times on either leg and then for all of these
exercises I do them twice through. Now it’s time to look at glute max. The most powerful of the three muscles. But it’s sometimes hard to know
if it’s activating properly as your back and hamstrings
can be great at compensating. But we’ve got three exercises
to get it activated. (calm music) Okay first up is prone
lying his extension. So you’re gonna be lying face down. And you’re gonna start with one leg bent. Your knee bent to 90 degrees and your ankle bent to 90 degrees. So the sole of your foot will
be parallel with the ceiling. Now from this position you’re gonna keep your hips in neutral
and you’re consciously gonna squeeze your glute really hard. Now this should gradually
lift your knee off the ground just a little amount and your foot will go closer to the ceiling. It is a very small movement
and if you’re compensating by tilting your hips you’ll
get too big a movement. So that’s the best way to know. Now repeat this 10 times on each leg. And it’s all about control. And another way to know
if they’re working, just place your hand on your bottom and you should feel it tense
underneath your fingers. (upbeat music) Right, next up is hip bridge. So you’re lying in supine on your back with your feet hip width apart and your knees roughly at 90 degrees. Now from here it’s important you start with your hips in neutral. Engage your core. So hold everything nice and tight and then consciously
squeeze your glutes again, and from this position
you’re gonna push your hips up towards the ceiling and
you want to get to a stage where you got a straight line,
or an imaginary straight line between your knees, your
hips, and your shoulders, and then lower it gradually. You need to repeat this 10 times, and if you feel that you’ve
got very good control and you’re finding it very easy, then you can progress this to single leg but it’s really important
that you make sure your hips remain level so
they’re parallel to the ceiling on the floor throughout
the whole activity. And if you’re dropping it
you’re better to go back to double leg and do it correctly. Finally for glute max activation
it’s four point kneeling. Make sure you start with your hips in a very nice neutral position, and then you’re gonna squeeze your glutes. So concentrate on squeezing your glutes the whole way through the activity, trying not to over use your
back muscles or your hamstring. Now this will limit your range. So if you can do it next
to a mirror and make sure you keep your back in a
really stable position. If you over extend in your back then you’re losing the
glute activation part and you’re working your back muscles more. So just make sure that you keep an eye that your back stays nice and neutral. (upbeat music) Right. Now your muscles should be
activated and firing properly. So it’s time to look at some
strengthening exercises. I’ve put together a small
selection to get you started. (upbeat music) Right first exercise I’ve chosen
today, a lateral band walk. So you need a band similar to this and you’re just gonna
pop it around your knees. Right, from here you’re gonna
have slight bend in your knees and a slight bend in your hips. Now the idea is you’re gonna try and keep your hips neutral again and level so if you can do it in front of a mirror to check you’re not
cheating that’s a great idea. And you’re gonna take small
steps in one direction. So you’re trying to keep your shoulders and your hips as level as possible. If you’re doing stuff like this you’re making it much easier for yourself. Going this way, I’m working this glute. You’re gonna try and do 10
steps in each direction, then turn back the other way and you’ll be working predominantly that glute. But both are working and
obviously your quads, hamstrings and back muscles
will be working as well. But predominantly it’s your glutes. (upbeat music) For the arabesque having control and good form is really important. So start by standing on one leg and then I want you to imagine
you’ve got a straight line or a rod going from your
head through your hip to your ankle of your
non weight bearing side. And you’re gonna rotate like a seesaw around the weight bearing hip. So you’re gonna tip forwards
with your upper body as your back leg comes out behind you. Now all the time trying to
keep this really straight and think about firing your glutes. And also try and make sure
you keep your hips level, not dropping to one side
or the other compensating. Now if you’ve got this
and it’s really controlled and you think you’ve got a
really good range of movement, you can progress it by having a weight in your opposite hand to
the weight bearing leg. But all the time making sure
that your hips remain level and if then you’re ready to
take it another step further, you could up the weight
and have it in both hands. Just make sure the
concentration is on control. (upbeat music) Right. The final exercise for
today is the split squat. As it sounds it’s a squat
type action with a split. So you’re gonna stand with one foot in front of the other like this. Ideally do it in front of a mirror ’cause from this starting position, put your hands on your hips and you want to check that they’re level. You’re not dropping to one side and that your pelvis is also in neutral. So you’re core is tucked
in nice and tightly. From here, you’re gonna just drop yourself down towards the ground
all the time thinking about squeezing your glutes
as you push back up again. Once you’ve mastered this
action and you’re making sure that your hips are
staying nice and neutral, then you can either add weight by using a dumbbell in either hand or you could even put a bar
bell across your back. Just really make sure
that your hips stay level. (upbeat music) just remember the most
important part is activation. As you can’t strengthen a
muscle that isn’t firing. So try and get into the habit of fitting in these activation exercises
into your regular training, and they’re especially good to
put before your run sessions. Now if you want to watch
more videos from GTN you can subscribe by
clicking on the globe. And if you want some more ideas or strength and conditioning exercises there’s a video for that right here. And if you want to learn more exercises that you can do with an exercise band then there’s some suggestions
in the video here.

Reynold King

26 Replies to “How To Activate Your Glutes | Strength And Conditioning For Your Gluteal Muscles”

  1. This can save joints, i had issues with glute weakness a couple years ago and this work well. Nice video 😀

  2. Would have liked to see triathletes encouraged to get stronger. It's super easy to get stronger without getting heavier; I show up to events and see so many high level athletes with terrible physiques because they act allergic to weight training.

  3. I really appreciate this vid. Have had a hip issue for a while and the test you show at the start has opened my eyes a bit about how I walk and stand. Hopefully, some practice firing my glutes more will help clear it up!

  4. Extremely timely for me, as I just started having a mild IT band issue. I am literally sitting here waiting for my GTN shirt to come out of the dryer so I can head to the gym. Some of these exercises were already on my list, but I just noted down a few more to work in. Thanks!

  5. Gorgeous illustration with gorgeous glutes.
    "Activation" – yes, it's the key word. From my most recent and very limited experience, running with tired quads helps you to watching your technique and your brain to engaging glutes: "neuro muscular coordination" is not just a set of impressive words. And I am not talking "briks", I am talking about cross-training.

  6. Another great video from #gtn 👍👌 i would include them in my sessions as I have very weak glutes that I compensate using my back mainly

  7. Great video–very helpful. I've definitely struggled with this! It's amazing how many injuries can cascade from weak posterior muscles. Is the larger issue the imbalance in muscle strength that develops between the front side (quads) and the rear side (glutes & hammies)? Is it something about swim/bike/run the causes this?

  8. This is rather apropo given that I had a major knee surgery in November. I'll likely be in physical therapy through the summer but it was kind of nice to see that nearly all of the exercises shown here are ones that I am doing or have done for PT (mind you my PT is also a triathlete).

  9. When showing the split squat you should better control the front knee position. And it looks like it should not cross the front foot line position, but it really does on the video. In this case you overload the front knee and the movement can not be counted as correct.
    But the video is pretty helpful, thank you for your work guys.

  10. I'm trying to convince a friend to start using her glutes when cycling. But this video didn't explain too much on why we should?

  11. Ok so I have a bunch of question about this Heather. First when I'm doing the hip raise I feel like it's my hamstrings that are hard to maintain but I've had a tough run yesterday. What am I doing wrong ? Second for the split squat I often feel a very uncomfortable stretch starting from my knees up to the inner side of my quads. As for the Arabesque I'm pretty sure I'm doing it wrong. Anyway I felt my glutes working doing all these so thanks!

  12. Wow, this is quite comprehensive and informative. Someone is not screaming their heads off. Thanks a lot.

  13. If you wore lighter colored apparel for more contrast I could see the exercises better. You blend in with the background too much now.

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