Wake Your Booty Up

4 exercises to pre-exhaust the glutes

I am back home after a fabulous summer vacation, and I am ready to replace sunning my buns with getting my rear in gear. The sooner we invest those extra calories into training, the better, right? I’m hoping that I can shuttle that extra serving of turkey and sweet potato casserole directly to my glute muscles and away from my fat cells. Sigh. OK, so while that may not be entirely possible, we can certainly try.

If you are familiar with glute training, you know that it can be difficult to activate the muscle. In fact, when I first started training my backside, I rarely felt my booty working. Instead, glute day felt like “just another leg day.” To overcome this, I started beginning my glute workouts with a quick circuit to pre-exhaust the muscle. This helped me to connect my mind to the glutes and get them firing before I proceeded to the bulk of my workout.

Over the years, I’ve tried many different exercises to prime the glutes, but I’ve finally found a combination that I really love. The four exercises featured below target the entire glute from the hamstring-glute tie-in to the “shelf.” So, to get more from your glute training, WAKE YOUR BOOTY UP with this full-booty circuit!



Curtsy Squat with Abductor Lift x 10 reps, each leg
Bottom Half Stiff-Leg Deadlift x 10 reps
Step-Up with Kickback to Arabesque x 10 reps, each leg
Knee Touch Kickback, 10 reps, each leg


YOUR-BEST-WAKE-YOUR-BOOTY-INS3Curtsy Squat with Abductor Lift – Standing with your feet together, take your right foot and step backwards into a lunge position. Rather than placing the foot directly behind you, cross your right foot behind the left leg like you are curtsying. As you return to starting position, lift the right leg up in the air to the side with your toes facing forward. Then, descend back into the lunge. Repeat all reps on one side before doing the second leg.

Bottom Half Stiff-Leg Deadlift – Perform a stiff-leg deadlift as you normally would, but only do the bottom half of the movement. Focus on pushing your glutes back on the descent and keeping the bar close to your shins. You should really feel this in your hamstring-glute tie-in.

YOUR-BEST-WAKE-YOUR-BOOTY-INS4Step-Up with Kickback to Arabesque – Step up onto a bench in a controlled manner and kick back your leg to engage the glutes. Then, push the leg up a little higher into a ballet arabesque. You should feel the top of the glutes (“the shelf”) firing in this position. Pause in this position and then step down. Repeat all reps on one leg before moving on to the next.

Knee Touch Kickback – Lying on the floor on your side, cross your top knee over your body and touch it on the ground in front of you. Then, kick the leg back behind you and squeeze the glutes. Repeat.

Push Toward Your Best
As you set goals for the second half of the year, make sure to think about ways that you can best use your strengths, not just ways to “fix” your weaknesses. Doing so will fan your flames of success and give you the inspiration to keep working on your opportunities for improvement!

Keep pushing–your best is waiting!

Jaime Baird

Jaime Baird is the Online Editor-in-Chief of FitnessRx For Women and IFBB Bikini Pro. Her life’s mission is to help others, especially women, achieve their best in health and life.

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