Glute Activation Help

Hey guys I’m looking for a bit of help with my glutes being imbalanced, both activation or coordination and strength.

It’s probably cause me some problems in the past and is probably related to my recent back injury. So time to stop ignoring it and fix things up while I’m still in the process of rehabbing my back also.

Single leg hip thrusts (bodyweight) is something I’ve been trying both as solution and as a test.

On my right side my glutes flex hard, my quads and hams kick in a little and I can hit more reps vs my left side.

On my left glute there’s a weak/inconsistent contraction but a lot of Quad and hamstring contraction and much weaker.

So I’m not sure if continuing to hammer single leg hip thrusts is most productive considering the movement seems pretty dysfunctional.

Lunges hit my glutes pretty hard and there’s some machines that isolate hip abduction so I got those at least. I’ve gathered a bunch of hip activation drills too.

Do you guys have any other ideas?

Check Squat University’s series on glute activation on YouTube. That should sort you.

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I like Standing Band Hip Thrusts

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Squeezing your glutes in isolation is cool but you need to figure out how to do that when you’re bending over. And during “big” moves.

Dr McGill has a good way to teach this, but it’s always buried in the middle of some terrible video. Between 4:00- 8:00 minutes McGill coaches this guy through the process.

All the little dumb stuff is in there, engaging lats, bracing squeezing glutes, centering weight, curling toes.

Here’s a different guy going through the same thing, a little quicker, saying it a little different.

Anyway, you can go through that process right before you do hinging/glute stuff at the gym and when ever you get a chance outside the gym.

Lately I’ve been doing band good mornings to “build” off this move. I put on the band, go through McGill’s little process and then do some bend overs. With my hands free I can push hands into thighs to lock in lats and re-establish bracing at any time or any point in the movement. With just a band for resistance I can stop and adjust my weight or grab the floor with my toes without worrying about controlling a barbell. Start with short ROM and good contraction/tightness and gradually increase how far you can bend over, keeping that tension.

RDLs with dumbbells are a good next step. I like to pause at the knees, or just below the knees (or both) to take a second to make sure glutes are squeezing/driving and shoulders are “anti-shrugged” so lats and brace are tight. Start short ROM so you can keep proper tension and increase ROM as long as you can keep glute/ham pressure.

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