Whatever (lower body) exercise I do, I always try to remember the typical glute cues, ie. push though heel, squeeze glutes throughout and especially at lockout, keep knee over ankle (I even try to put the knee behind the ankle)…etc… Whatever glute cue there is, I’ve read it and I’m using it.
And I perform glute activation exercises (bird dogs, bodyweight glute bridges, side-lying clams…etc…) before each lower body session. It’s not as if I have no mind-muscle connection with my glutes - I can squeeze each one rock solid independently of each other.
I can even ‘feel’ my glutes when doing squats/lunges/slideboard lunges/deadlifts/single leg deadlifts/step ups. HOWEVER, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to explain this - but it feels like I’m only feeling my glutes when doing these exercises, because I’m squeezing them. Not because they’re actually doing any work. To give an example, if you did a biceps curl whilst squeezing your glutes, you’d still ‘feel’ your glutes whilst doing the movement - but the glutes aren’t contributing to it.
So when I’m doing all of these lower body exercises, I’m squeezing the life out of my glutes, yet I can just tell that my quads are doing all the work. My quads are the ones getting DOMS, even if I get a ‘pump’ in both my glutes and quads. The quads are the ones doing the work - the glutes are just along for the ride, and I can only feel them because I’m conciously squeezing them. If I didn’t squeeze/contract my glutes, it would make no difference to the exercise, but if I didn’t squeeze/contract my quads - I’d never be able to stand back up!!
How do I change this situation so I get my glutes actually performing the exercises?