Your best body yet! Photo: Getty
Your bum is the biggest and most important muscle you have, but your glutes can get a case of the lazies, forgetting to "activate" or "turn on" sufficiently during everyday tasks or workouts, says certified strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreras.
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There's a textbook term for this phenomenon—gluteal amnesia—and it could be dragging you (and your fitness goals) down. After all, your rear assists in every type of motion: running, jumping, lifting, you name it.
Making a few simple adjustments to your strength-training routine can score you a better backside burn, ASAP.
During a hip extension (lifting and lengthening your leg), consciously squeezing your glutes can increase their activation by about an extra 12 percent, suggests research in the Journal of Athletic Training.
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Drop It Low
Deep squats—where your hips dip below your knees—can almost double your glutes' contribution as you return to a standing position, according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
"If you tilt your torso forward to a 30- to 45-degree angle during a lunge, you'll feel a hotter burn in your glutes," says Contreras.
The angle throws more stress onto your booty.
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Get a Leg Up
Compared with double-leg exercises (like deadlifts), single-limb versions (like one-leg squats) can activate your gluteus medius and gluteus maximus by an extra 33 percent and 21 per cent, respectively, according to a study in Physical Therapy in Sport.