Have you been lifting heavy weight in the gym, and feel like the results are not reflecting the work, you’ve been putting in? The secret to a bigger butt, is glute activation. Without activating your glute muscles, you won’t be able to build that bangin backside that you’ve been dreaming about. Poor glute activation is a common problem, due to the muscle memory you unfortunately never had. Getting under the squat rack and expecting to build a bigger butt with a shallow squat that doesn’t even get parallel is wishful thinking. Your butt is used to doing what it does best, nothing.
What Is Glute Activation
Of the 640 muscles in the human body, the gluteus maximus is the biggest. It’s also one of the most neglected muscles when it comes to activation. Glute activation refers to activating, or “firing up” the glute muscles in order to build more muscle and strength.
Often times when you have improper form and minimal extension and flexion through squat and leg movement exercises, you don’t actively engage or contract your glutes muscles. Without activation, you’ll never be able to build a bigger butt.
The problem is that when you squat and deadlift, your body forgets to use your glutes, and overcompensates using other muscles. Your lower back, hamstrings, and quads are often the culprits and will take on the extra load. This can lead to lower back pain, hip pain, and create muscular imbalances. If your glutes aren’t firing properly then you can become “quad dominant, resulting in massive quad muscles, with little to no butt.
Glute Activation Exercises
The only way to fire up your glutes, is by performing glute activation exercises to help muscle contraction. Resistance bands are an extremely effective training implement, to help you build a bigger butt and activate your glutes, before getting into heavy compound movements. By performing a warmup, you’re consciously tying together a mind-glute connection firing up your muscles to ensure they are engaged during your workout.
With the warm up, you'll also want to focus on specific compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and lunges to ensure you build more muscle. If you need a training program to get bigger glutes, check out our 6 Week Glute Gains Program.
Banded Glute Bridge
- Lie flat on your back with a resistance band looped around your lower thighs.
- Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the floor hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position.
- Press your heels into the floor, activate your glutes and raise your pelvis off the floor like a string is lifting your hips to the ceiling resting on your shoulders.
- Squeeze and contract your glutes, then lower your pelvis to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for 15 reps.
- Begin by looping your band around your lower thighs
- Standing with your feet hip-width apart (keeping tension in the band), engage your glutes and push your hips back into a squat.
- Keep your weight in your heels and chest up as you push back to standing.
- Repeat for 15 reps, with constant tension on the band
- Stand on the balls of your feet with a resistance band above your knees
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Bend the knees slightly and lean forward at hips. This is your starting position.
- Walk forward, one step at a time, with constant tension on the band with each step.
- Repeat for 20 steps
Banded Lateral Walk
- Place a resistance band just above your knees
- stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Slightly bend at the knee, take a large step left with your left foot, then follow with the right, keeping tension in the band.
- That counts as one rep
- Repeat for 10 steps in each direction
Glute Activation: Takeaway
If you don’t consciously activate your glutes, your buns will never rise. Perform these dynamic glute exercises before every leg day workout, at least twice per week. Ensuring your glutes are activated will boost your ability to perform compound movements with heavier loads, and build a bigger butt. Firing up your posterior chain, will lower your risk of injury, correct for muscular imbalances, and pock in your mind-body connection to help you build more muscle and strength.