Activation, A Pre-Workout Must!
Before every workout (and after a dynamic warm up) I do a series of activation exercises to ensure the muscles I’ll be working are firing properly throughout my workout. Activation is important before each workout because you want to be sure you’re getting the most out of each and every move.
When it’s time to workout, you want the muscle to be primed and ready to go to get the most out of the exercise. Conversely, you may not get the full benefit of the exercise if you don’t properly warm up and activate the muscles you’re about to train. Don’t cheat yourself - activate!
Activation = Turning the Muscles On
Make sure you go slow and focus on contracting the muscle. The mind-muscle connection is super important here (we’re trying to ACTIVATE the muscles we’re about to work). Focus your full attention on the muscle you’re activating, squeezing at the top of the movement.
Having strong glutes is massively important because they are (supposed to be) the biggest, strongest, muscles in your body! When your glute muscles don’t fire, you compensate with other muscles when lifting, which can lead to injury and major imbalances. For most of my workouts, I use mini loop bands for activation exercises. Mini Bands can be found on Amazon (linked below) or at PerformBetter.com I recommend buying the assortment pack so you have 4 different resistance levels to choose from.
Here are some activation ideas to warm up those glutes before you work your legs! Activation exercises turn on the right muscles so that they fire optimally when you need them to.
-mini band duck walks (forward & backward)
-mini band lateral walks
-quadruped banded hip circles, knee lifts, & kickbacks
-mini band squat jumps
-standing straight leg kickbacks
-standing fire hydrants
You don’t need to spend a lot of time on them, just 1 or 2 sets of 15-20 reps to ensure the muscles are ready to go for your main lifts!
Lateral mini band walks. Keep feet hip distance apart and take a giant step, then a half step, always keeping your feet hips distance apart. Lead with the hips, keep the knees soft and hips square to your 12 o’clock, and don’t drag the back foot! 2x20 to the right and 20 to the left
Quadruped (all 4s position) bent knee abduction (Fire Hydrants) 2x15/side
Quadruped (all 4s position) straight leg lifts 2x15/side
Clam Shells 2x20/side (Feet together, knees open, close)
Standing straight leg kickback 2x15/side
Standing Bent Leg Abduction (Fire Hydrants) with yellow mini band 2x20/side
Squat hold mini band abductions (pulses) 2x20
Standing Lateral Leg Lift with the yellow mini band 2x15 per side
It’s important to activate the muscles before your workout so you get the most of of each exercise.
Try these activation exercises before your next lower body workout!
~Forward “Monster Walks” or “Diagonal Walks” with the blue mini band 2x20 forward, 20 backwards
~Lateral mini band walks 2x20 to the right, 20 left
~Quadruped (all 4s position) bent knee abduction (Fire Hydrants) 2x15/side
~Quadruped (all 4s position) straight leg lifts 2x15/side
~Clam Shells 2x20/side (Feet together, knees open, close)
~Standing straight leg kickback 2x15/side
~Standing Bent Leg Abduction (Fire Hydrants) with yellow mini band 2x20/side
~Squat hold mini band abductions (pulses) 2x20
~Standing Lateral Leg Lift with the yellow mini band 2x15 per side
Thanks for reading and enjoy the burn if you give these a try!!