Osteopathy, Sports massage

Glute Activation Exercises

I prescribe gluteal strengthening exercises for many lower body disorders, ranging from knee soreness to lower back pain.

The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles that make up the buttocks – the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Their actions include extension, abduction, internal and external rotation of the lower limb, knee alignment, stabilising the lower back and sacroiliac joints as well as keeping the pelvis level when we walk or run.

Many people find it hard to understand how to activate or contract the glutes. This is partly down to the number of hours we spend sitting at a desk, which “switch off” the glutes. These people will often have tight hamstrings, which over-compensate as result.

I have found the following exercises to be very helpful to engage and activate the glute muscles, and help to reduce the risk of injury or muscle imbalance.

Before beginning this programme, please be aware not all exercises are suitable for everyone, particularly if you have a weakness or are prone to injury. If at any time you feel you are exercising beyond your current fitness ability or feel pain, discomfort, dizziness or nausea you should stop immediately and reconsider your use of this particular routine. The user assumes all risks of injury in the use of this programme.

1. Modified Bridge

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Video Here

For this exercise you will need an exercise band, or failing that a pair of tights!
Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent and an exercise band around both thighs. Keep your arms by your side to help your balance. Contract the deep abdominal muscles by drawing your tummy in towards your spine, then squeeze your bottom muscles and lift your pelvis upwards. Whilst maintaining this position push your thighs outwards against the resistance of the band and hold for 2-3 seconds before bringing the thighs back together and slowly lowering back down.
Bring your heels slightly closer to your bottom if you are feeling too much tension on your hamstrings.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets.

2. Hip Extension with Band

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Loop an exercise band just above your ankles and lift one leg straight behind you against the resistance of the band. Hold this position for 2 seconds, squeezing your glutes (buttock muscles) before slowly lowering the leg.
Keep your core engaged and avoid leaning forward or arching the back as you lift the leg. Hold onto a chair if needed.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets. If you haven’t got an exercise band increase the number of reps to 20.

3. Hip Abduction with Band

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Loop an exercise band just above your knees and lift one leg straight out to the side, against the resistance of the band. Hold this position for 2 seconds, squeezing your glutes (buttock muscles) before slowly lowering the leg.
Keep your core engaged and avoid leaning to the opposite side as you lift the leg. Hold onto a chair if needed.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets. If you haven’t got an exercise band increase the number of reps to 20. 

If you have any questions do get in touch.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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