“One of the most common complaints I hear from female clients is that they cannot get their glutes to work properly, yet that’s the body part they want to work the most!” says Alex Richardson from Duo Pilates in Brisbane. “Have you ever done squats, lunges or any other glute-focused exercises at the gym, only to wake up the next day with sore quads and hamstrings?”
Alex explains: “The glutes play an important role in stabilising the whole body. There are three glute muscles; Glute Minimus, Glute Medius, Glute Maximus. All three glute muscles should work together to provide power and stability and assist in good posture. However, sitting at a desk all day and lazy postural habits can cause the glutes to become lazy and weak.”
“When our glutes become weak or inactive, we tend to over-activate other muscle groups (like the quads and hamstrings) which can result in poor posture, lower back pain, knee, hip, ankle and/or foot issues–just to name a few.”
“Knowing how to activate your glutes can dramatically improve your movement and decrease your chance of acquiring an injury [and] pilates is without a doubt one of the most effective ways to strengthen your glutes.”
Keep scrolling as Alex takes us through her go-to Pilates workout program that you can do before your workout to get your glutes firing! NOTE: You can do all of these exercises with or without a resistance band around your legs. Alex suggests starting off with no resistance band and then progress to a band after a week or two.
How-to: Lie on your side with your knees bent and your feet together. Stretch your bottom arm out behind your head and rest your head onto your arm. Create a little gap underneath your bottom waist, straighten out your back and engage your abdominals.
Lift your top knee up, while keeping your hips still.
Lower your knee back down and repeat.
Perform 20 reps on each side
#2 Side-lying leg lift
How-to: Lie on your side with your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle. Stretch your bottom arm out behind your head and rest your head onto your arm. Create a little gap underneath your bottom waist, straighten out your back and engage your abdominals.
Lift your top leg up, keeping it in the bent position.
How-to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips all the way up until you have a straight line from your shoulders, hips, and knees.
Try to keep your glutes switch on as you lower back down and repeat.
Perform 2 sets, 20 reps each.
#4 Side glute kick out
How-to: Start in a 4-point kneeling position with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees.
Angle your right knee out to the side and then proceed to press your leg out to the side. Try not to let your left hip fall to the side.
Bring your leg back in without letting it touch the ground and then repeat on the left side.
Perform 20 reps on each side
Put these exercises into practice:
“Aim to complete these 4 glute activation exercises 2-3 times/week for a month and see how you go,” says Alex. “When people ask me how long it takes to see results, I always refer them to this famous Joseph Pilates quote because I think it is pretty spot on!” Head to https://duopilates.com.au/ for more and click here for a free 5-minute ab workout!