Weak glutes test: how to tell if you need to strengthen glutes
If you’re working out your lower body regularly but don’t seem to notice any positive improvements in your glute area, it might be because you’re suffering from weak glutes - also known as glute amnesia or sleepy glutes syndrome.
by CHLOE ALEXANDER on
November 7, 2022
Weak glutes occur when your bum muscles aren’t getting enough engagement – either in your day to day activities or in your exercise routine. While weak glutes can be triggered by a sedentary lifestyle, even long distance runners can suffer from sleepy glutes – so don’t feel bad if your glutes have decided to temporarily go for a long nap.
In this guide, we’re going to show you how to activate weak glutes, and how to perform a quick weak glutes test to see if your booty muscles need waking up. Let’s get started!
What causes weak glutes?
Weak glutes are caused by a lack of glute muscle engagement – this can be caused by a number of reasons:
The 9-5 office work schedule isn’t exactly the best when it comes to keeping your body fit and active: if you’re sitting at a desk all day (and then sitting in your car or on a bus to get home) your glute muscles aren’t getting enough activation, and this can lead them to temporarily switch off and go to sleep.
Zero muscle activation during exercise
Weak glutes can also be caused by a lack of muscle activation during exercise. For example, if your exercise routine revolves around cardio (especially repetitive cardio such as jogging) your glute muscles aren’t getting much attention. If you also lead a sedentary lifestyle, this combination can lead to weak glutes.
Not warming up before exercise
We all know how important it is to warm up before performing any kind of high impact exercise – but when you’re short for time, we understand that it might be the first thing you skip. While it might help you get your workout done faster, this is always a bad idea – you need to warm up your muscles before you start doing complex strength training, both to avoid injury and to ensure that your muscles are activated and ready to work.
How can I tell if I have weak glutes?
To perform a weak glutes test, you need to observe your body while it’s moving – either when you’re engaged in exercise or simply carrying out your day to day activities. Here are some sure signs that you have weak glutes:
Hip pain and back pain
Your glutes do an important job of supporting your back and your hips while doing any number of strenuous activities: from lifting heavy items to bending and stretching, your glutes provide a support system for the surrounding muscles in your lower body. So, if you’re experiencing new back and hip pain when performing exercise – or even when carrying out everyday tasks such as lifting objects or holding your child – it could mean that your glutes are weak.
If you feel as if your glutes are always stiff and tight, this is another sign they might be weak and in need of activation. Tight glutes occur when your glutes aren’t used often enough; this means that when you engage them in your regular day-to-day activities, you end up straining the muscles. If your glutes are feeling tight after a strenuous workout, this is normal – achy muscles after a heavy gym sesh are nothing to worry about.
Lack of balance
Your glute muscles aren’t just there to look great in jeans – they also help establish your pelvic balance and make it easy for you to use your lower body freely, whether it be through walking, dancing, or exercising. If you feel as if you’re lacking pelvic balance when you move, weak glutes could be the culprit.
Having knee pain is another sign that your glutes aren’t doing their job properly. As previously mentioned, your glutes do a lot of work supporting the surrounding muscle areas and supporting your lower body during movement. When this support system is lacking, it can put extra pressure on your knees, causing knee pain.
Do note that knee pain can also be caused by a variety of different problems, such as overuse during running or an injury incurred through exercise. Knee pain is typically a sign that your glutes have been weak for a while, so if you’ve been experiencing knee discomfort alongside other symptoms listed above, you’re probably dealing with weak glutes.
How to activate your glutes
So, if you’ve successfully concluded that you have weak glutes, what can you do to fix them? We’d recommend fixing weak glutes by performing effective, low-impact exercises that target and isolate the glute muscles. Isolation is key here: you don’t want your legs or hips to be doing the heavy lifting. For activation, you need to isolate the glutes.
To avoid putting strain on other parts of your body, we’d also recommend starting out with glute exercises that can be performed on a mat. This will prevent you from causing injuries in your legs, knees, or hips while you correct your glutes. Once you feel stronger, you can move to standing exercises.
The best glute exercises to fix weak glutes include:
Single leg deadlifts
Single leg squats
How long will it take to fix weak glutes?
In general, the time it takes to fix your glutes will depend on how severe your glute weakness is. If you’re suffering from mild to modere glute weakness, it might take only a month to fix. More severe glute weakness could take up to 6 months to fix.
What happens if my glutes are weak?
Your bum isn’t just there to look good – your glute muscles perform an active and important role in supporting your lower body. Glute weakness can cause muscle strain, knee pain, and can even make you more prone to injury during exercise.
I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.