Muscle activation is importan. It helps you feel the muscles at work and this in turn makes your workout more effective as you know which muscles work in what exercises and how much load they get. Living a mostly sedentary lifes weakens people’s glutes, which makes it hard for them to feel those muscles in such exercises like squats because their quadriceps are doing most of the work. Activating glutes before a leg workout is a sure way to feel those muscles working in the exercises that target glutes. This is necessary for effective glute work and growth or simply their strengthening.
Activate Your Glutes Before Workout
Do these exercises as a warm up without weights, squeeze the glutes and repeat till you feel a slight burn. Your goal is not to fatigue them but rather feel the muscles and then continue working out while keeping this mind-to-muscle link.
A hip thrust is an easy move but it works the buns and allows you to establish the mentioned link. Lie with your back on the mat and bend your legs at the knees, place your arms at the sides. Start by elevating your pelvis off the floor and bringing it up while squeezing glutes. Pause at the peak for a few seconds then lower your pelvis down without touching the floor. Repeat till you really feel the glutes working. Do a few sets but don’t let your glutes fatique too much as you may lose the mind to muscle link or simply won’t have an effective workout.
Kickbacks are great because they let you work each side separately. You can perform them standing up or standing on all fours. Make sure to kickback till you feel the squeeze in the glute. Don’t just swing the leg as there won’t be much use.
Reverse Leg Raises
These are very popular right now and it’s no surprise, reverse leg raises only look like a simple exercise. In fact this glute activating move can get you huffing and puffing especially with some ankle weights and an exercise ball. To perform this exercise lie on a bench with your stomach, let the lower part of your body hang from the edge. Raise your legs till you feel the squeeze in the buns, then lower without resting feet on the floor, repeat as many times as needed for activation.
These are all good exercises for glute isolation as well. The latter two are great as finishing moves while a hip thrust can allow you to work up to some serious weights. It’s not the most convenient exercise but it isolates glutes very well as long as you keep the feet further away.