10 Best Glute Activation Exercises (10 Minute Glute Warm Up with Mini Band)

10 glute activation exercise to FIRE UP (or activate) your legs and butt. Use this guided, 10 minute glute activation workout as a warm up before your next heavy leg day workout or run.

How do I Activate my Glutes?

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as squeezing your glutes. So I’ve combined my 10 favorite glute activation exercises into a 10 minute glute activation workout (or warm up).

Glute Activation is an exercise routine designed to “fire up” (or activate) all 3 parts of the glutes:

  1. The Gluteus Maximus (the main muscle in your butt)
  2. Gluteus Medius
  3. Gluteus Minimus

Theses three glute muscles, make up ‘the glutes’. Did you know the glutes are one of the strongest and most powerful muscles in the human body?!

Think of this glute activation workout as a warm up specifically for your butt.

Glute activation wakes up the butt muscles, and builds the mind-body connection that’s important for the proper muscles to fire during a lower body workout.

Who should do these Glute Activation Exercises?

  • Do you struggle with lower back pain during leg workouts? And/or after leg workouts?
  • Do you have a hard time feeling your glutes ‘turn on’ during lower body exercises?
  • Do you want to build a booty?

Than these 10 glute activation exercises are for you!

Glute Activation Exercises with Resistance Band

Why is Glute Activation important?

We have several big, powerful muscles in our lower body that sometimes the glute muscles can be overpowered (by the quads and hamstrings).

If your quads and hamstrings overcompensate for your glutes in an exercise it can lead to muscular imbalances and injury. Specifically low back pain and injury. 

If your glutes aren’t properly warmed up your body can recruit other muscles (like your low back) to make up for weak or inactive glutes.

Glute Activation Exercise: Banded Knee Drive

How do I know if I have weak Glutes?

Weak glutes are more common than you think. Think about how much of our days we spend sitting down — for most of us, our glutes spend the vast majority of the day dormant!

Some of the symptoms that can be associated with weak glutes are:

  • Knee or Hip Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Plantar Fascitis
  • Balance Problems
Or if you’ve recently had a baby and are asking yourself where your butt went?!
​​​​​​​This glute activation workout is pregnancy + postpartum friendly too. In fact, I highly recommend it for pregnant and postpartum women for two reasons: 
  1. There is a lot of sneaky ‘core exercises’ built into this glute workout; and they are all pregnancy, postpartum, and diastasis recti safe exercises.
  2. This glute workout also builds hip strength and your hips STABILIZE AND SUPPORT your pelvic floor.

The glutes are a major stabilizing muscle (that’s why many of my core workouts include glute work).

Hip Hinge with Mini Band to Activate Glutes

What are the Best Glute Activation Exercises?

The best glute activation exercises focus on a variety of movement patterns based in your hips. Specifically these, glute band exercises: 

  1. Banded Squats
  2. Single Leg Banded Exercises (standing kickbacks, standing abductor lifts)
  3. Banded Side Shuffle
  4. Monster Walk or V-Walk
  5. Banded Hip Hinge

I like using resistance bands (aka booty bands) for glute activation. Banded glute exercises isolate and target, and thus activate, the smaller glute muscles: glute minimus and glute medius.

All of these glute band exercises are included in today’s 10 minute glute activation workout.

TRAINER TIP: Place your hand on the muscle that’s working in these glute exercises. Having a hand on your butt as you’re working through an exercise is SO helpful in telling your brain and body which muscle to use! Really contract your glutes, and feel the muscles working.

This is something that I learned when I was rebuilding core strength postpartum, and it translates to all my other workouts too.

glute band exercises single leg abduction

How do I use this Glute Activation Workout?

There are a couple ways I recommend using this glute activation workout:

  1. As a lower body warm up routine before a leg workout
  2. As a pre-run warm up (glutes and hips are so important for runners, these muscles power your running stride).
  3. As a standalone 10-Minute Mini Band Glute Workout.

If you’re using this as a warm up before a lower body workout, I’ve linked some of my favorites leg day workouts below.

Glute Activation to Build a Booty

10-Minute Glute Activation Workout

Fire up your booty with this quick GLUTE ACTIVATION workout!

These 10 glute exercises use a mini band to keep constant tension on your glutes.

Workout Equipment:

Mini loop resistance band, light to medium resistance.

**If you need some mini loop resistance bands check these out! AND get a discount using code: NML

Workout Instructions:

Let me be your certified personal trainer for the day! Click here to jump to the guided Glute Activation video.

Alternatively, work through the 10 BEST Glute Activation Exercises below at your own pace.

  • 10 Exercises
  • 40 seconds per exercise, 20 second rest between exercises
  • Complete all 10 exercises x1 set for a 10-minute glute activation workout (or repeat as many times as desired)

10 BEST Glute Activation Exercises

  1. Banded Squats
  2. Banded Single Leg Abduction, right
  3. Banded Single Leg Abduction, left
  4. Banded Side-to-Side Squats
  5. Banded Squat + Knee Drive (hip flexion), right
  6. Banded Squat + Knee Drive (hip flexion), left
  7. Banded Hip Hinge
  8. Banded Kickbacks
  9. Banded Monster Walk, Frontal Plane (side-to-side)
  10. Banded Monster Walk or V-Walk, Sagittal Plane (front/back)

You can see GIFs of each movement below. Otherwise form cues, band placement and modifications are in the follow along video at the top of this post.

1. Banded Squats

Band Placement: on the thighs, approximately 6″ above the knees.

Target: gluteus medius, hip abductors and quadriceps.

If you want better squat form, do these banded squats! The band forces you to open up your hips, which allows you to go deeper into a squat position without rounding your back.

Banded squats for glute activation

2. Banded Single Leg Abduction, Right

Band Placement: on the thighs, approximately 6″ above the knees.

Target: the hip abductor muscles include the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae (TFL). Also know as your outer glutes.

Banded Single Leg Abduction

3. Banded Single Leg Abduction, Left

Band Placement: on the thighs, approximately 6″ above the knees.

Target: the hip abductor muscles include the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae (TFL). Also know as your outer glutes.

Single Leg Taps - left

4. Banded Side-to-Side Squats

Band Placement: on the thighs, approximately 6″ above the knees.

Target: gluteus medius, hip abductors and quadriceps.

Side to Side Squats

5. Banded Squat + Knee Drive (hip flexion), right foot

Band Placement: around the feet.

Target: gluteus medius, hip abductors, quadriceps and overall hip flexion.

A great warm up exercise for runners. 

Banded Squat + Knee Drive for hip flexion and glute activation

6. Banded Squat + Knee Drive (hip flexion), left foot

Band Placement: around the feet.

Target: gluteus medius, hip abductors, quadriceps and overall hip flexion.

A great warm up exercise for runners. 

Banded Squat + Knee Drive for hip flexion and glute activation

7. Banded Hip Hinge

Band Placement: around the feet.

Target: hip extension, gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles.

Banded Hip Hinge or banded deadlift

8. Banded Kickbacks (or Glute Kickbacks or Donkey Kicks)

Band Placement: on the shin, calf area; approximately 6″ below the knees.

Target: all three gluteal muscles: the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus; as well as the hamstrings.

Banded Kickbacks or Glute Kick Backs for Glute Activation

9. Banded Monster Walk, Frontal Plane (side-to-side)

Band Placement: on the shin, calf area; approximately 6″ below the knees.

Target: the gluteus medius. Also a great exercise for hip stability (ladies, your hips support your pelvic floor; building hip strength is important to a stable pelvic floor).

Banded Monster Walk, Frontal Plane (side-to-side)

10. Banded Monster Walk or V-Walk, Sagittal Plane (front/back)

Band Placement: on the shin, calf area; approximately 6″ below the knees.

Target: the gluteus medius. Also a great exercise for hip stability (ladies, your hips support your pelvic floor; building hip strength is important to a stable pelvic floor).

V-Walk Front and Back

NOTE, the resistance band should never be placed directly on a joint (knee or ankle). You always want to place the mini band above your knees or below your knees. 

Once your glutes are fired up and active, try one of these lower body workouts to build the legs and booty…

Glute Workouts for Women

Pin this 10-Minute Glute Activation Workout

Glute Activation butt workout no lunges

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