Squatting and not seeing the results? There's a reason behind it. One of the questions I get asked frequently from ladies is, ‘Why isn’t my butt growing?I squat several times a day, but I do not see any changes’. The majority of these issues boil down to glute activation: not properly activating your glutes before you go into an intense leg day workout. Another possible cause of this is that you are not changing up your leg routine. Try different squat variations i.e. goblet squats, kettlebell sumo squats. By properly activating your glutes, you will reduce your risk of lower back injuries. The majority of lower back problems actually stem from weak glutes. Our backs are simply not made to take on the role of our glutes!
Why Are Our Glutes So Inactive?
The most common reason that people suffer from glute amnesia (also known as underactive glutes) is due to sedentary lifestyles. Though you may train hard daily, if you spend the majority of your day sitting at a desk, you are simply not using your glutes! Never forget the saying, 'If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.' Realistically... this is what happens to your glutes.
The Key to Glute Activation
Glute activation exercises should always be included in your warm up to get your butt fired up for the harder exercises you plan to incorporate in your workout. It’s great because you can also do glute activation exercises as an active rest between sets. Believe me when I say that doing these simple exercises before you go into squats, deadlifts etc. will result in that booty growing.
In my opinion, I found that the most effective way to activate my glutes is by using resistance bands. Your muscles quickly adapt to movements you do often, which is why adding variety to your workouts is key for challenging your muscles (this will also prevent you from hitting a fitness plateau). The great thing about resistance bands is that they are very lightweight and compact, so you can pretty much use them anywhere (win!). You can purchase resistance bands that range in difficulty from Light to Heavy. This will allow you to customise the level of resistance to fit your strength level.I purchased my pack of resistance bands from Amazon.
Its time to feel that booty burn! Check out these six awesome glute activation exercises in the video below
6 Glute Activation Exercises
This is a versatile exercise that can be used for glute activation as well as strengthening your glutes. Looking for a challenge? Try the glute bridge with a weight or try a one legged glute bridge (elevating your leg on a bench). Feel that burn.. Aim to do 10 reps x 4 sets
This is one of my favourite exercises because it really isolates the glute medius. Aim to do 10 reps x 2 sets on each side.
Up the intensity of your squats by adding a resistance band. Remember to clench those butt cheeks when you stand up to really engage those muscles. Mix it up by doing 10 reps x 3 super sets of jump squats as well!
Lateral Band Walks
This exercise really increases the tension of the band as you increase your stride. Focus on your technique and remember to take your time. Aim to do 10 reps x 3 sets.
Stand straight and keep your abdominal muscles tight. Aim to do 10 reps x 3 sets per leg.
Working against gravity can have its own challenges. This exercise is great because it works all of your leg muscles in particular your quads and hamstrings. Aim to do 10 reps x 3 sets.
What is your favourite glute activating exercise? Tweet me and let me know!
About the Author:
Melanie is a fitness blogger who strives to empower women by building on their mental and physical confidence through fitness. Find Melanie on PumpUp @fitnessgeekx and follow her on Twitter and on her blog.