Top 5 Glute Activation Band Exercises

What is glute activation?

When we aren’t using specific muscles or muscle groups, these muscles become inactive or ‘switched off’. This is a common issue with our glute muscles as many of us spend long periods of time sat down. This causes our glute muscles to become inactive, the nerves stop triggering the glutes to switch on as you stand up and move.

If these muscles remain inactive throughout your workout, there is increased risk of injury. There will ultimately be less reliance on your glute muscles whilst they are inactive, this inhibits the growth of the glutes. You may find that other supportive muscle groups (i.e. quads) are stepping in, this can lead to the unintentional growth of these muscle groups instead of your glutes.

In order to effectively target and grow your glutes, you should aim to 'activate' or ‘fire up’ the muscles before your workout. The 5 exercises detailed below will allow you to activate your glutes and get the most out of your booty-building workouts.

Why is glute activation important?

The activation of the glutes allows you to focus on strengthening these muscles. The glutes are very important as they play a vital role in your overall body strength. Not only do your glutes help to support a range of exercises and compound movements, they also support your core and help to avoid muscle imbalances.

Considering these benefits, we can then understand how weak glutes can contribute to a range of issues including balance issues, lack of strength, poor posture and muscle pain.

How to activate your glutes

The five exercises detailed below will allow you to activate your glute muscles. These exercises can be performed at home, outside or at the gym. The only piece of equipment you will need is a glute activation band. If you are working out on a hard surface a soft mat would also be recommend.

Donkey kicks

  1. Loop the band around your right ankle and left knee
  2. Start on all fours with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders
  3. Kick your left leg up, hold for 2 seconds at the top
  4. Return your left leg to floor, after completing all the reps, switch sides and repeat

Fire Hydrants

  1.  Place the band just above your knees
  2.  On all fours, position your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips
  3. Without moving the position of your hips, lift one knee up and out towards the side, slowly
  4. Return your knee to starting position 
  5. Switch sides and repeat

Clamshells

  1.          Place the band above your knees
  2.          Lie on your side, with your head resting on your bottom hand.
  3.          Elevate your feet to hip height, keeping your bottom knee touching the floor
  4.          Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee towards the ceiling 
  5.          Slowly lower the top knee down to hover above the bottom knee
  6.          Switch sides and repeat movement

Hip Bridges

  1.        Place the band just above your knees
  2.        Lie on your back with your hands at your sides, knees bent with your feet flat, hip-width apart
  3.        Squeeze your glutes, keeping your core tight and lift your hips off the floor, straightening the line between your core and knees
  4.        Bring your hips down again and repeat

Banded Walks

  1.        Place the band around your quads, or just above your ankles for a lower intensity variation
  2.        Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  3.        Bend your knees slightly and pivot forwards leading with your hips.
  4.        Keep your abs engaged and your glutes tight
  5.        Take 5-10 steps forwards, then take the movement backwards to return to your starting position