What does “Glute Activation” actually do?⁣

muscle activation strength training for running Jun 08, 2022

"Wow, my glutes are so active right now!"

If you’ve ever hiked the ol’ mini band up around the knees for a few side steps, a squat or two, or maybe a clamshell…. There’s a decent chance you felt a little burn in the back pockets and thought, “Wow my glutes are so active right now”.⁣

Well yeah, they are. Glute activation drills are effective at increasing mind-muscle connection to the glutes. Also, with therabands providing 3-10 pounds of resistance, they can be an effective stimulus for muscular endurance.

 But... here’s what they don’t do:

  • They aren’t an effective stimulus for building strength. This simply requires more load most of the time. 
  • They don’t build muscle mass. Even with a long lever, the stimulus isn’t enough for building muscle. ⁣
  • They don’t change motor patterns.⁣

If you had weak clamshell and a hip drop when running, a few weeks of glute activation will get you…. A strong clamshell and a hip drop when running. (@gaithappens)⁣

Motor control at high speed (running) is not significantly changed by slow, low threshold activation exercises in a completely different position…. Duh.⁣

You have to get closer to the position and movement pattern of running WHILE activating the glutes.

Examples: step-ups, single limb stance external rotation, single arm KB carry, lunges, etc




Bottom line

Glute Activation is a piece of a training or rehab plan, but not the end goal. It has to be combined with functional motor control and loaded exercise to be effective.

Want access to more educational information & resources from the Movement System? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below for updates, exclusive content, and new offers.




Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.