The glutes are one of the most important muscle groups in our body, but they are often largely disregarded during warm-ups. This is a big mistake. The glutes can enhance performance in any activity, especially those that require the hips to extend the thigh – such as running or kicking. This is because the glutes are high velocity, powerful muscles. Despite their importance, our glutes can become weak and inactive due to a sedentary lifestyle and sitting for long periods of time. This is exactly why you need glute activation warm-up exercises.
Warming up and activating our glutes can help prevent injury, enhance performance and even increase your metabolic rate during your workout. It’s important that we take the time to warm up properly as this will ensure better performance during any activities involving strong hip extension such as running, cycling, squats and lunges.
Before we get into specific exercises for warming up, let’s first take a look at some key points:
Important Things about Warm Ups
- Activate your glutes – you can’t be strong without them
As fitness professionals, we often hear the term “glute activation”. Many fitness enthusiasts talk about glute activation without knowing what they are talking about. What exactly is glute activation? Glute activation simply means that your muscles are hidden and inactive which is a result of a sedentary lifestyle and sitting for long periods of time. A proper warm up activates your muscles by making them more active and also improves muscular strength, endurance, agility and coordination.
To activate your glutes it is important to do glute strengthening exercises to make the muscles strong which will help prevent injuries when doing activities involving hip extension such as running or kicking.
- Glute activation is the key to performing at your best and avoiding injuries
Although we often hear about glute activation in fitness circles, we don’t always think about what is the best way to use it in our daily lives. If we really want to perform at our best and avoid injuries, then it’s important that we take the time to warm up properly.
When warming up, you should be able to lift your glutes off the ground while holding a heavy object. This indicates that your glutes are activated or strengthened which will enhance performance in any activities involving strong hip extension such as running, cycling, squats and lunges.
- A key factor in warming up effectively is to increase your blood flow
Warming up is an important aspect of any exercise. You need to warm up both muscles and joints before going into a workout or sporting activity. It’s important that you make sure you warm up your muscles and joints correctly as this will help prevent injuries and enhance performance for a more effective workout. I recommend doing a 10 minute IT band pre-workout warm-up which is a great way to activate your hamstrings, quads, glutes and, hip flexors.
- Warm up should be done prior to any activity performing hip extension
Warming up is one of the most important aspects of preparing for any activity. If you want to make sure you warm up correctly, then you need to do this at least 1-2 minutes before your workout which involves performing hip extension. For example, if you are planning on running, then your warm-up should last between 30 seconds and 1 minute (depending on the distance) and involve moving through a range of motion that includes glute activation exercises.
Glute Activation Warm Up Exercises
Begin standing with feet hip-width apart. Step your right leg to the side into a shallow lunge (your front thigh should form a 90-degree angle with the ground). Keep your torso erect and weight evenly distributed between both legs. Return to standing position; that is one repetition. Repeat for 30 seconds on each leg, keeping good form at all times throughout the movement.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keeping your core tight, raise one leg up parallel to the ground. Keep your shoulders still and back straight. Your knee should not extend past your toes. The movement should be fluid and controlled—avoid jerking or bouncing. With control, continue alternating back and forth between legs for 30-60 seconds each side, ensuring that you keep good form at all times throughout the exercise.
Straight Leg Deadlift
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend forward, knees slightly bent so that you lower down below parallel to the ground (beginning position) with arms fully extended overhead (as if holding a dumbbell). Keep your core tight and your back straight at all times throughout the movement. In the top position, pause then return to the beginning position with control. That is one repetition.
Side Lying Clams
Lie on your side with knees bent 90 degrees, foot on the ground and hip resting on your uppermost arm. Position a light pad or pillow between your knees with knees stacked above top knee so that they don’t touch. Engage abs and tap top knee against pad with a controlled movement as if trying to tap a tabletop as quickly as possible for 30 seconds each side. Aim for 10-12 repetitions each leg with minimal rest in between sides.
Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Engage the abs and lift the right leg out to the side and up towards your glute (as if you’re dog peeing). Your foot should be flexed so that your toes point towards the ground. Continue to raise your leg, keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees, until it’s in line with your hip. Then slowly lower down until leg is fully extended before repeating on other side.
Lie on your back and bend both knees to 90 degrees, allowing the feet to move closer together. Engage your abs and lift your hips off the floor to form a bridge – hold for 30 seconds.
These 6 glute activation warm up exercises are important to avoid injuries and have better workouts. Remember that fitness is a journey and you should take your time learning this craft, please don’t rush to avoid hurting yourself.
Do you know the optimal way to warm up on a treadmill? Check the link below:
Thank you for reading.
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