By Coach Courtney
Sleepy Glutes? Gluteal Amnesia? Dead Butt? Whatever you want to call it - the terms all mean the same.
Your gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in your body, but also arguably the smartest. The glutes have figured out through our desk job sitting and Netflix binging change in society that they really don’t have to work as hard as they once did when our ancestors foraged for food and were, bending, lunging, walking the majority of the day. The glutes essentially turn themselves off and chill out while they allow our erectors, hip flexors, and quads to do their work for them.
Does anyone ever notice after lunges that your knees hurt? Or perhaps your quads are on fire? Do you actually feel your glutes when you do lunges? This could be because your glutes are not firing and, thus, having your other muscles take on the work for them. Like I said - smart.
However, we NEED our glutes to fire!! I have personally learned this the hard way and had some annoying little injuries start to pop up due to my glutes going dormant. I have spent the past four months dialing back the weight, working on glute activation, and focusing on strengthening my glutes and I can confidently say they are now FIRING and funny enough - those annoying little aches and pains I was experiencing have also gone away.
Below is a list of exercises you can try to help wake up your glutes. Even performing these prior to your workout will help. Perform each for 1 min and your glutes should be on fire. If your quads or hamstrings are on fire…. Stick with it - soon enough the glutes will learn to take over and really focus your mind on squeezing and feeling your glutes throughout the entire movement.