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Problem with Gluteal Activation


So, after some reading and experimentation I've come to realize that I have trouble recruiting my gluteal muscles when lifting. This is hindering both my squat and DL. Obviously, this will not do. How do I go about fixing this problem? Anyone have any tips for me?


Do activation exercises prior to compound exercises. Things like glute bridges og x-band walks. Read some Cressey stuff, he's written some good articles on the subject.


The most important thing is to eliminate the factor that is preventing the glutes from firing in the first place. Most likely it is an overactive hip flexor causing antagonist gluteal inhibition. Mobility drills and regular stretching, as well as static stretching prior of the hip flexor prior to training will help tremendously with this.

After that, for activation you can just look up the following exercises:
fire hydrants
x-band walks
glute bridges
hip thigh extensions

These can be done prior to regular training, as well as throughout your regular training week. While doing any of these drills, focus on a good contraction in the glutes.


What are some good stretches for the overactive muscles?


A kneeling hip flexor stretch will be your best bet. Some variations to try are to twist to the opposite side you are stretching, or to try to tilt your pelvis anteriorly (round the lower back) while stretching, to put more of the emphasis on the hip flexor muscles.


Thank you. I will try that.


bridging, of various type


Another factor could be you are using too much plantar flexion or pushing through your toes. Make sure you are using your heels to drive.

Pushing through your heels should help firing with glutes. Also, when squatting try doing it with a 5LB plate uder your heel for a while or even a 2x2 or 2x4.


Get you Butt in Gear I

Get you Butt in Gear II

Also, if your not already doing so:
-ATG front squats, ATG back squats, and pistols.



Also see above with bridging and other glute ex emphasizing thru the heel. Thread hijack,a Jim Butcher fan?


The name doesn't ring a bell.


Gaius Octavius

dude look into Myofacial release. buy a damn foam roller, get on the bosu ball and train your core. Foam roller will help a lot, i have the same issue when i couldnt break a 300 lbs deadlift, after thati got trained by a powerlifter and he introduced my to the foam roller, i went to 415. try it, i think perform better dot com has the best foam rollers, if you need protocols for use of the foam rollers just ask.

your glutes arent just weak and tight, the rest of your body is compensating for them, you need to activate them by using the foam roller. How flexible are you? when it comes to hanstring, calves, and butt? such as bent over too touch, if i had to make a prediction, probably not too flexible in the glute hamstring are. well this is your wake up all before you get injured.


I'm looking to break 500 pounds on the deadlift, so yeah I will look into foam rollers. How do I use one?

Well, I can touch my flat palms to the floor with my knees straight so I'm pretty sure I'm not all that stiff in the hamstrings. I'm stiff as hell in the hip flexors though, which I've just found out in the last few days.


best thing to do then is to invest in the foam roller man. i can not empasize that enough, you will thank me, this is functional training. buy it, its like 45 bucks and it will help you so much. your goal deadlift can be accomplished, its not unrealistic. the foam roller is basically self myofacia relief.

Your muscle is surrounded by tissue, just like selofaine, its caled facia. you basically roll is specific mmovement, and rush blood/nutrients to the area your working. imagine the anatomical view of your bicep. nice smooth long fibers. what you might have is a certain sore spot, which is common among weight lifters.

its like a pressure point (kinda acupuncture style, except acupuncture is nerve endings, where at this is skeletal muscle) once you work out this problem area, you are going to increase flexibility, decrease proneness to injuryes and your deadlift WILL skyrocket. yoiu have no idea how much it helped me, youll be doing 400 in no time. that i promise. get this thing and start rollin.

I am a personal Trainer for Advance Fitness LLC down in kennet square PA, and that is one principle i bring with me to all the trainers i train. (assist manage the place). protocol is very easy to follow, and once you get it ill give you a program that will guide you through the rehab.

its just like strethcing, its part of your warm up. In basic english, barney style interpretation, it is deep tussie massage you do on your self. and it feels great.


Good stuff in this thread



Hell yeah, thank you for the tip man!


Ait. I'll get a rolling. I feel that I must point this out though, I can pull 400 for 4 reps, 5 on a good day. So I'm wondering how much It'll increase with proper glute activation...


after a week or two or constant work, no one can tell, but youll pull more. How much lower back work are you doing? because lower back obviously is a primal factor, well let me get in a little bit or more detail here.

CORE is the prime factor here, its the equation, variables are your muscles. gotta have a strong core, dont make my mistake, my core was not ready to support my 45 lbs increase in weight and a 415 lbs dealift in 6 months of training and i got really bad injuries in my lower back.

NEVER again ill skip a core day. Deadlift is an excersize that primarily traggers your posterior chain, which is everything from your neck to your calves. so get that in check. if you want to build that deadlift up, also look into

  1. functional training 2. rolling out 3. steching 4. kettle bell (posterior chain excersizes). Who knows how much you will go up, but ill tell you one thing for damn f'in sure, is that you will jump a few plates.


I think what he's trying to say, although not very eloquently, is that by foam rolling your hip flexors you can prevent them from inhibiting proper glute activation.

If your hip flexors are tight, then you may see some benefit from this. If they aren't tight, then the glute activation exercises may be more beneficial to you.

And no, foam rolling doesn't feel great. It's painful, and if you are rolling your hip flexors or upper quads, make sure you don't foam roll a nut. It's worse than it sounds.


Let us know if the foam roller does the trick for you. Seeing as you can get your palms flat on the ground, straight legged, I don't think that is the issue.

Don't get me wrong, foam rollers, can be great, especially for posterior chain.

I use them and have my clients use them but I am not sure they can get your glute firing.

Also, I have donkey kicks can be a good exercise to prime the glutes for an exercise. You can find the description in the link that was posted above.

Update your results.