How to Activate Your Glutes for Better Results

So you’re working out the booty and looking to make some progress--growth, tightness, tone, whatever it is. You’re squatting, you’re're doing all the right things for your glutes but it doesn't seem to be working. Something’s gotta give. Are you actually engaging the muscles you’re trying to work? Let’s find out..

Warming Up

A lot of times, the glutes can become under-active from all of the sitting that we tend to do on a daily basis. Excessive sitting puts the glutes in an inactive state and the hip flexors in a tight, shortened state. This makes it even more crucial that you activate those glutes before your workout.


Before jumping into a booty/leg workout, you have to warm-up and activate those glute muscles to get them firing and ready to put in work. (Side Note: you should be warming up before every workout--not just legs. If you need some warmup info check out this article and here are a few warmup exercises you can try out: Page 1 and Page 2) Have you ever done a bunch of booty exercises, only to wake up and feel NOTHING in your booty but EVERYTHING in your thighs and the rest of your legs? While all leg exercises, work multiple leg muscles, you should still be able to feel the glutes working. You don’t want the quads and hamstrings to take over all of the work.


Glute Activation Exercises

Here are a few exercises you can warm up with to really get the glute muscles fired up and ready to put in work. Let’s wake that booty up! 😉



Lay on your back, with your arms at your side (palms down) and your legs bent. Knees should be about shoulder width apart and you should be able to touch the back of your heels with your finger tips. Push through your heels and squeeze the glutes to lift your body off the ground. Your shoulders, hips and knees should make a diagonal straight line. Hold for a second at the top before returning to the start position. Aim for 15 reps.


Single Leg Bridge

Follow the same instructions as above but lift one leg off the ground. Keep the hips stable and the same alignment of the shoulders, hips & knees at the top. Aim for 12 reps on each side.


Fire Hydrants

Start on all fours with hands directly under the shoulders and knees directly under the hips. Keeping the leg bent, lift one leg up and away from the body. Pause at the top. Return to the start position and repeat. Aim for 15 reps on each side.



These can be done with or without a band. Start position is on your side with legs bent and head propped up by your arm or hand. Lift the top leg up while keeping the feet together. Pause at the top before returning to the start position. Repeat. Aim for 15 reps on each side.


Standing Straight Leg Kickbacks

Place a resistance band around your ankles and start with both feet together. Kick one leg back while keeping it straight. Just go back far enough to feel the burn in your booty and then back to the start. Aim for 15 reps.


Leg Lifts

Start on all fours. Hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Extend one leg straight out and lift up. Make sure that your back is not arching. You want to focus on using the glute muscles and not moving the back. Pause at the top before lowering the leg and repeating. Aim for 15 reps


You can go through this whole circuit, or you can pick 3 exercises and do 2 sets of 15 reps, as a mini warm-up circuit. Give ‘em a try before your next leg workout and see if you can notice the difference.  


If you want to see some of these exercises in action, this video goes through most of them.


As always, let me know if you have any questions!


Here’s to a happy, healthy, booty-building week ahead! 😉