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Using a resistance band, a woman does a kickback. Neon pink arrows highlight the resistance band while bold white text states "Waste of Time".

Should you Activate your Glutes Before a Workout?

blog Mar 23, 2024

Should you Activate your Glutes?

When it comes to activating your glutes before a workout, there are different perspectives on its effectiveness. Let's dive into the topic and explore how to achieve optimal muscle growth in your glutes without overdoing the glute activation exercises.

The Role of Glute Activation

Glute activation exercises can serve as a useful warm-up to increase blood flow and loosen up the joints before your main workout. However, it's essential not to rely solely on these exercises for building strong and defined glutes.

Progressive Overload for Glute Growth

Like any other muscle group, the key to building your glutes is progressive overload. This means challenging your glutes with increasing resistance and intensity over time to stimulate muscle growth effectively.

Focusing on Proper Technique

Rather than overdoing glute activation exercises, prioritize setting yourself up for success in your main glute-focused movements. Whether it's squats, hip thrusts, or glute bridges, ensure you're using proper technique and positioning to engage your glutes optimally.

Achieving Full Hip Extension

For maximum glute activation during hip thrusts or glute bridges, emphasize achieving full hip extension at the top of the movement. Spend time in this position to create tension in your glutes, which is crucial for muscle growth.

The Misconception of Burn and Sensation

Many glute activation exercises, like band work and kickbacks, may cause a burning sensation, leading people to believe they are effectively activating their glutes. However, muscle growth is driven by mechanical tension, which might not always coincide with the sensation felt during certain exercises.

Targeting Stretched Positions

Research shows that muscle growth is maximized when training in stretched or lengthened positions. Exercises like bent-knee RDLs and glute-focused split squats are excellent choices for targeting your glutes in stretched positions, promoting substantial muscle development.

Incorporating Different Exercises

While it's essential to focus on movements that create tension in your glutes, it doesn't mean you should exclude exercises that provide a burning sensation or contraction feeling. Incorporate a mix of exercises that target different aspects of glute activation to achieve well-rounded growth.


To optimize glute growth, it's essential to strike a balance between glute activation exercises and main glute-focused movements. Prioritize progressive overload, proper technique, and full hip extension during your workouts. While glute activation exercises can be beneficial for warming up, don't rely solely on them for building strong and defined glutes. Instead, focus on exercises that provide optimal tension, including those targeting stretched positions, to achieve the best results for your glute development.

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