Your bum (i.e. gluteus maximus) is the largest muscle in the body, but when it comes to training, one of the most common deficiencies many people share is underutilizing their glutes!
Learning how to use your ass during movements like squats, cleans and deadlifts starts with learning how to activate it. Whether you want a nicer-looking behind, or a better, squat, you’ll be happy you did!
Here are 4 simple movements to include in your warm-up that are sure to at least get your bum firing:
• Glute Bridge variations
Real simple. Lay on your back with your feet on the ground and your knees bent. Raise your hips as high as you can and squeeze your butt cheeks together. Here’s a video that show how to do both a glute bridge and marching glute bridges.
Add to your warm up: 20 glute bridges, 20 marching glute bridges. On the 20th rep, hold your hips up for another minute in a static glute bridge hold.
Attach a circular band around your thighs just above your knees, lay on your side, bend your knees to a 90 degree angle. Keep your feet together and raise your top leg as high as your can. Control the movement as your raise and lower your top leg. The slower the better. You’ll probably feel like you’re in a 80s aerobic video, but I promise you your glutes will turn on. See the glute bridge video for a demo of these, too.
Add to your wam-up: 20-30 clamshells on both legs.
• Bird Dogs
On all fours, slowly raise one arm and the opposite leg as high as you can. Hold for 2 seconds at the highest point, and then slowly lower back down to the ground. Make sure you’re squeezing the bum cheek of the leg you’re raising.
Add to your warm-up: 20 per side
• Bowler Squats
Bowler squats are essentially single-leg RDLs but without holding any weight. The idea here is to keep your torso completely neutral as you hinge on one leg. Here's a video:
Add to your warm-up: 10-20 on each leg
Remember, your bum is the biggest muscle in your body. If trained properly, it should also be the strongest.