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The Top 10 Best Glute Activation Exercises 

4 min read

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Here’s theCheeky Top Ten Glute Activation Exercises that you can use pre-workout to fire up your glutes and prime your body for a productive glute workout. If you sit for long hours a day you might be suffering from “glute amnesia” that’s slowing down your muscle building progress.

These movements will help a ton if you struggle with “feeling it” in your glutes during hip thrusts, glute bridges, squats, lunges and deadlifts in your main workout. 

What Is A Glute Activation Routine And How To Make One

A glute activation routine is simply a part of your warmup that is used to wake up, or prime your muscles for the real work. You should try out a variety of movements in order to find your favorite 3-4 exercises that you can really feel your glutes working on and don’t cause you any pain.

Everyone’s body is a little different, so it’s important to find exercises that work best for your build, bone structure and fitness levels.

We recommend using three of the exercises below and performing them each for 3 sets of 10 reps. The loading and difficulty should be light/mild and the exercises should never be done to failure to make sure you’re still fresh for the main lifts and accessories. The goal here is just to warm up and build your mind muscle connection.

Our Top 10 Glute Activation Exercises

1. Knee Banded Glute Bridge

Glute bridges don’t seem to get as much love as their sister exercise, the hip thrust, but we’re crazy about them. They cause significantly less quad engagement so the glutes get the lion’s share of the work. When you add in a resistance band, your glute activation levels go through the roof. Weight can be added as needed with a barbell or dumbbell.


2.Banded Frog Pumps

Put ahip circle band around your lower thighs, just above your knee. Ensure that your spine is completely flat and your neck is tucked into your chest to protect your back. Put your arms by your side, with your palms facing down. Put the soles of your feet together and bend your knees, pointing them away from your torso. Squeeze your abs and glutes as you push your hips towards the ceiling. Hold this position for a few seconds, tensing your abs and glutes the whole time. Slowly lower your hips towards the ground. 

3. Banded Monster Walks

Maintain a quarter squat position with knees driving into the band and start walking. Take little steps so as not to lose your positioning. Walk forward, backward, to the left and to the right for 10-12 steps in each direction. Feel the booty burn and repeat!

4. Seated Banded Hip Abduction

Position a resistance band above your knees and sit on a bench. Assume a medium to wide stance so that your knees are in slight valgus (cave inward) in the start position. Drive you knees outward into the band. Strive to reach full hip abduction range of motion with each rep. You can roll onto the edges of your feet to get a little more range of motion.

5. Knee Banded Side-Lying Clam

To set up, position a Glute Loop above your knees, lie on your side, plank on to your elbow, and bend your hips and knees at roughly a 45-degree angle. Crisscross the arches of your feet and raise your top leg, keeping your bottom leg flush with the ground.

6. Single Leg Hip Thrust 

Double check that your bench is secure and won’t slide, then raise your upper back onto the bench. Assume your standard hip thrust stance, then lift one leg and bring that knee towards your chest. Push off through your grounded heel and elevate your hips and squeeze both glutes at the top. 

7. Knee-Banded Standing Hip Hinge 

Throw on a resistance band at or above your knees. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Then lean your torso forward, push your hips backwards and slightly bend your knees. Try to keep your shins vertical and your back flat. Push your knees out and roll your feet onto their outside edges. 

8. Standing Hip Abduction (Weighted, Banded, or Bodyweight)

This is a very flexible exercise that can be done with a band, light plate/dumbbell held on the side of the thigh or just with your body weight.

Grip onto a wall or anything stable to help you balance. Shift your weight onto one foot. Elevate your unweighted leg until you max out your range of motion (or the full stretch of the band)

9. Banded Quadruped Kickback 

Get down on all fours, then hook a small band around the arch of your foot and around both of your thumbs. Pinning the band in place underneath your palms, kick your leg back at an upward angle.

10. Standing Glute Squeeze

Stand up and take a moderate to wide stance. Flare the feet out slightly. Now squeeze the glutes as hard as possible for 30 seconds. Make fists and squeeze as hard as possible to increase the neural drive through irradiation.

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