Feel Good Friday: Glute/Hamstring Muscle Activation

These Feel Good Friday blog posts each week have been a blast to share. I hope you are enjoying them and learning some things you can incorporate into your training. I look forward to sharing what I do when training my clients, both 1-1 and online. Many of these exercises I also use in my own training sessions. Today exercises will focus on muscle activation.

This week I am going to share three more exercises that target the posterior chain. The focus here will be on the gluteus and hamstrings. If it seems like I focus on the posterior chain a lot, well you are on to something. These muscles are vitally important in locomotion, force production, and force reduction. They are also important in possibly reducing the risk of injury. Whether we are distance runners, sprinters, weightlifters, or stuck at a desk all day it is important to keep these muscles firing correctly and in conjunction with each other.

I typically start off the glute/hamstring warmup with two isolation exercises, to “wake” them up.  I then follow that up with a core exercise that is meant to integrate the muscles into working together. The integration exercise is meant to challenge your body by requiring an increased need for coordination and balance. A  study I recently read showed that integration exercises can yield greater muscle activation than isolation exercises.

This does not mean you need to train your core muscles only using these exercises. However, if you are not currently incorporating muscle activation exercises like these  shown here in the videos or similar you should start adding them in to your current training program.

These muscle activation exercises can be used as a warm up before a run or a strength training. I would suggest performing each exercise for 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions. You should rest just briefly before starting the second set. Complete two sets of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise. If you would like to buy mini-bands similar to the ones used in the video you can purchase them here.