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glut strengthening | gluteus maximus | pilates balwyn

Why traditional glute activation exercises could actually be a waste of time.


Dr Elise Fuller

So you’ve been prescribed the typical stuff for glute activation.

Glute activation usually looks something like…

Bands around your ankle and lifting your leg to the side and leg to the back, doing sets and reps of the same thing in hope your “LAZY” gluts wake the hell up.  Maybe you’ve been doing leg lifts on all 4’s or shoulder bridges, the list goes on…

BUT no one has explained WHY your gluts are LAZY…So let us share that story with you.



  1. Muscles learn to activate WHEN they are in a lengthened state (a bit like stretched state)
  2. Muscles DO NOT learn to activate when we contract them to move a joint
  3. All of the mentioned exercises are about contraction (point 2.) and not lengthening(point 1.) AND the one below!
Lunge | weak gluts | glut activation

Can we do better than this to activate your gluts?

Fortunately YES!

So what does all of this mean for glute activation?

It means that to activate a glut muscle we need to find how to maneuver or joints of the hip to find a lengthened state.  To do that we need to do the opposite of the contraction exercises which will load the muscle tissue so it has NO CHOICE but to contract, which means ACTIVATION.

That’s how you teach gluts to activate AND for the long-term.  All that other stuff is just isolated strengthening BUT not creating a whole body context as to WHEN is the right time to activate.  So traditional strengthening is not useful in the long-term, it teaches you nothing about HOW the gluts work and fire up in your everyday movement.

Context means that you can train the body to use the muscle automatically, completely without you thinking about it, it just happens.

At Boroondara Osteopathy, we know how to re-train your whole body movement to activate your gluts.  No muscle works in isolation when you move, so why try and activate them in isolation…it doesn’t make sense.  That’s why whole body movement is essential to activate muscles.

Our process is to decipher the big fat WHY, in why you think or why you have been told you need glut activation and then show you how to maneuver the glut muscle to activate it.

Some tell tale signs your body has been intuitively trying to activate your gluts without realising it are:

  • Walking with feet slightly or a lot turned out
  • Feet that have flattened right out in the arch
  • Chin poking forwards in front of your chest
  • Feeling like you have poor posture / stooped or slouched posture

Your body is not LAZY, STUPID, or any other adjective you use with regard to your thoughts about your gluts.  Your body is a clever and adaptable system that needs the context for when the glut activates.

Comes see us and stop the countless sets and reps that will be a potential bandaid effect at best.

You can book online or call 9859 5059 to speak with reception, and end the ongoing battle with your gluts!