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Posted on 21 June 2018 by Amy King, Founder, CORE+

For many of us, glutes are a very mysterious set of muscles tucked deep down, out of reach. No matter how many scooters or squats we do in class, we still can’t seem to feel them working. Think about it: How many times have you massaged your fiery quads after an exercise, only to look around and see that everyone else is rubbing their sore butt?

The good news is, you’re not alone! These days, we spend so much time sitting (at work / on the long commute home / while binging on Netflix) that our glutes have basically packed up shop, and our hamstrings and quads have taken over. And then, because our hamstrings and quads are activated, they fire up easily next time we work out; it’s a vicious cycle that leaves us feeling frustrated and a little out of proportion.

Sound familiar? Then it’s time to incorporate a super quick activation series into your regime. We always recommend starting with a good hip bridge, but by adding these extra four movements your glutes will be totally prepared for the workout to come.

If you have trouble sitting down the next day, our job here is done.



Lying on your side, with your legs bent and hips stacked on-top of each other. Your head can rest on your arm.

Keep your feet together and your hips still as you lift your top knee up – like a clamshell opening up. Squeeze your butt at the top before lowering back to the start position. For that extra burn, let the heels float off the ground.

Complete 15 reps on each side – more if you can.


Donkey Kicks

Donkey Kicks are an amazing way to keep the burn going following on from the clams.

Start on all fours with a neutral spine. As always, your shoulders should be directly over your wrists and your knees in line with your hips. Lock in your core! Keeping your hips stable, lift one leg behind you, bend the knee and flex your foot, lift your leg as high as you can before squeezing at the top and lowering back down to your hip level.

We want to target the glutes and protect the lower back, so only lift your bent leg as high as you can without your back arching or taking over.

Complete 15 reps on one leg before switching to the other side.


Glute Kickbacks

This movement is similar to the donkey kick, except we’re now standing, and we’re inviting resistance bands to the party. If anything will activate your glutes ahead of a workout, it’s resistance bands.

Loop the band over your legs so it’s sitting just above your knees. Stand about a foot back from a wall or bench for balance – your knees should should be slightly bent, your back straight and your core braced. Keeping your hips stable, kick back one of your legs, keeping your weight in the stabilising leg – this exercise will target both sides at once. Squeeze your glute at the top before lowering to start position.

Complete at least 15 reps on each side.


Walking Side Squats

By now you’ll be feeling your glutes, but this last exercise will have them on fire!

Keep the resistance band in the same position as the glute kickbacks and stand up straight with your core activated. Step to the side so there is tension on the band, then squat down as deep as you can, making sure your back is still straight and your knees aren’t peeking over your toes. Stand up through your heels, thrusting your hips forward and squeezing your glutes when you get to the top.

Repeat the movement up and down a hallway or across a room, for as long as your glutes will allow.

Do you have another glute exercise you do before class? We need to know! Drop into the CORE+ Facebook page and share it with us.