Glute Activation

by Michael Greenhouse |   Date Released : 06 May 2009
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Michael Greenhouse

About the author: Michael Greenhouse

Michael Greenhouse, NSCA, CSCS, is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in Exercise Physiology, and a focus on Kinesiology and Biomechanics. In 2005, the Chicago Cubs drafted Michael as a professional pitcher. Currently, Michael studies Physiology in Columbus, Ohio, where he has founded Pure Life Fitness. He has spent the last 8 years in the fitness industry working with amateur and professional athletics on rehab and program design, and over the last few years he has been developing and performing movement patterns to increase functional movement. Before moving back to Ohio he spent time as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in the Division 1 college level and the professional baseball level. He was also part of the St. Mary’s Hospital outpatient clinical team, specializing in rehab and corrective exercise for pre and post-surgery patients.

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Comments (4)

Tortoriello, Nikki | 02 May 2012, 13:43 PM

Go see a Muscle Activation Techniques specialist and they can check to see which muscles are responsive and which ones aren't.

plakas, paul | 02 Dec 2009, 16:34 PM

Are you serious about the leg press being a good exercise for glute firing. From the angle of supported pad, you get knee extension but not compete hip extension.

Chase, Kevin | 16 Aug 2009, 08:00 AM

Over simplification for a gross biomechanical process. Knee pain is more related to hip dysfunctions or ankle dysfunctions and how each person gets there is specific to them. Generalizing and to say do this and do that because that is what works for everyone is a diservice to the client and the industry. Hamstrings also are a hip extensor and if they are inhibited for any reason they can also cause a dysfunction or inhibitory response to the Gluteals which will limit their ability to function. All muscles contract and fire, but receive less proprioceptive input as the tissue is shortening it's length. If their is a serious lack of input as it shortens the body will try to find a way to have other tissues related to the inhibited tissue to pick up the slack. In other words lose efficiency in the movement and increase the amount of load that related tissues have to handle, which can cause inhibition of those tissues as well. I would recommend seeking out a Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist (M.A.T) in your area to get a more thorough biomechanical analysis and assessment of what tissue is not able to handle load appropriately. I have been studying this process for the last few months and have seen some interesting results with clients and myself personally. I no longer "stretch" random muscles anymore hoping to increase ROM and decrease pain. Not saying stretching is bad, but taking a look only at a few muscles on the body and say they are weak/inhibited without taking a overall assessment of total lower extremity muscular function may potentially have you chasing your tail. Check out for a specialist near you or check for a Jump Start class to potentially get in and get ready to look at the body in a different way than you have previously thought.

karlinski, joe | 10 Jun 2009, 03:31 AM

Just be sure you're pushing through your heels and relaxing your toes during movements like a squat, or a lunge (front foot), or leg press. Even when balancing on one leg, try to be heavy on your heel and light on your toes. This will ensure you are firing the glute. You will feel it in your knees if you continue to use your toes. Make sure to stretch the muscles surrounding the patella- rectus femoris, adductors, hamstrings, and calves. As always, try to keep the glutes tight, and draw your navel in toward your spine during any movement.

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