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Glute Activation at Bottom of Squat


I've decided that the weakest part of my squat is the initial drive from the bottom. I would like to work on increasing my range of motion (this is an ongoing process.) So the easiest thing to do is try and work on increasing power when the hip is flexed. Don't know too many ways to do this.

Does anyone have suggestions? All I've come up with is overloading the bar at depth and practicing it isometrically, then dropping the bar incrementally (or putting plates under the feet). Better suggestions are welcome. Are there any isolation exercises that work the glutes specifically? I feel like I am doing way too much with my quads which I think is what is limiting me. If I go really deep, I get pain in the quadriceps tendon, not the knee.

(The form looks very good, but I suspect that how the forces are moving through me are a bit off. Correct me if I am wrong, but the hip drive starts from the glutes and the quads assist on the way up. The lower I go, the squishier this feels = glutes not working well, even though most people would claim it looks great.)

Thanks in Advance!

  • jj


I would focus on making sure the glutes are firing before you get under the bar. Do a warm up routine like what you can find from magnificent mobility can help with this.

Doing one legged stuff helps too.


Can you post a vid to show this? Most of the time, those that think they've got perfect form but are having issues places, could benefit from a few pointers from the veteran lifters around here.

I'm not saying you're the case, just that a vid would help


I like doing broad jumps before the lifts if I'm having trouble popping my hips forward. For activation before the lifts, bridges and other glute activation might help. Pause squats help the bottom.

Also, box squats with a long pause, wide stance squats with or without a box (be careful your hips don't get torn up doing these), this one exercise where you take about 1/3 to 1-2 your max and just bounce in and out of the hole, and one and a half reps among others.

And of course working on your form. And nobodies form is perfect. Even the current world record holders are constantly working on their form.