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The straight leg lift can be used as a gluteus maximus and gluteus medius activation exercise
Continuing Education1 Credit

Gluteus Maximus Exercises (Activation)

Gluteus maximus exercises for improving movement dysfunction, posture, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, and sports performance. Great hip extension, leg raise & monster walk variations exercises for the glutes.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Description: Gluteus Maximus Exercise (Activation)

This course describes gluteus maximus exercises, often referred to as gluteus maximus activation (a.k.a. glute exercise, glute complex exercise, glute max activation, glute max exercises). Performing prone hip extension, with the addition of hip abduction, knee extension, and the abdominal drawing-in maneuver (ADIM) may improve recruitment (isolation) of this important muscle. Further, this combination of joint actions may aid in reducing muscle activity and muscle imbalance resulting from synergistic dominance of the biceps femoris, adductor magnus, and erector spinae. Note, this course also includes suggestions that may imply that the best butt exercise, exercise for weak glutes, best glute exercises, or best glute workout, is not a split squat, goblet squat, conventional deadlift, or even hip thrusts. It may be more beneficial to start your routine with lower body corrective exercise, right leg glute activation (if you have an asymmetrical weight shift), or right leg and left leg gluteus maximus activation (if you have forward lean), to ensure your gluteus maximus is optimally recruited (strong glutes) prior to larger lower body movements like hip thrusts, split squats, and deadlifts.

The gluteus maximus is the primary extensor of the hip, and the primary mechanism of propulsion, and gluteus maximus activity is correlated with a decreased risk of pain and dysfunction. It is common to include these exercises in a program designed to address an anterior pelvic tilt; however, these exercises may also be recommended to reduce an asymmetrical weight shift, excessive forward lean, knees bow in (knee valgus), knees bow out (knee varus), feet turn out, and feet flatten (pes planus). Addressing these signs has been correlated with improving and reducing the risk of low back pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, and foot pain, and improving sports performance. Movement professionals (personal trainers, physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, etc.) should add these exercises to their repertoire to improve the outcomes from their integrated exercise programs and therapeutic (rehabilitation) interventions.

Isolated Muscle Activation Exercises:

Reactive Muscle Activation Exercises

Subsystem Integration Exercises

Last, it is important to integrate the increase in gluteal muscle activity into functional exercise. The Brookbush Institute accomplishes this with anterior oblique subsystem and the posterior oblique subsystem integration. Some example movements for these purposes include:

The straight leg lift can be used as a gluteus maximus and gluteus medius activation exercise
Caption: The straight leg lift can be used as a gluteus maximus and gluteus medius activation exercise

Study Guide: Gluteus Maximus Exercises (Activation)

Introduction to Gluteus Maximus Exercises

1 sub-category

Overactive Synergists

Optimizing Motion (Best Practice)

Research On Gluteus Maximus Muscle Exercises

Best Exercises for Gluteus Maximus Isolated Activations

3 sub-categories

Integrated Stabilization

3 sub-categories

Reactive Activations

4 sub-categories

Subsystem Integration

Taping Techniques

2 sub-categories

Sample Activation Circuit: Gluteus Maximus Exercises


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1. Introduction

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