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Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about glute amnesia, or “dead butt syndrome.” Just judging just by the name, it’s easy to tell that this is not something you want in your life. 

So, what the heck is dead butt syndrome? How do you know if you have it and how do you get rid of it if you do?

In this article, I’m going to answer these questions for you as well as give you a full glute activation without bands workout that you can use to combat glute amnesia and make sure that your butt muscles are ready to work (and grow!). This is the perfect warmup routine before you do my 8 best exercises for thighs with resistance bands, to really sculpt the thighs and butt.

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What is Glute Amnesia?

We all know that sitting around all day is bad for our health. But did you know that it’s bad for you butt, too? It’s true!

Gluteal amnesia aka dead butt syndrome happens when our glute muscles forget how to activate properly. Considering our glutes play such a massive role in our ability to move our bodies efficiently and prevent injury, we want to make sure that they’re activating properly so that they can do their job.

How to Fix or Prevent Glute Amnesia

Whether you’re experiencing glute amnesia or you are actively trying to avoid it, there’s great news: you can overcome and/or prevent dead butt syndrome! There are countless exercises that you can perform to activate each part of your glutes (there are three parts total, FYI). 

With proper activation, your glutes will be able to “turn on” prior to your lower body workout, making it more effective. But, you don’t need to workout in order to activate your glutes, you can perform these movements any time to keep your glutes active and engaged.

Glute Activation Without Bands

In this glute activation workout, I chose to create a sequence that doesn’t require bands. Of course, you’re more than welcome to up the resistance by adding in a band, but I wanted to create something that can be done anywhere, any time. No excuses!

There are a total of 8 movements in this glute activation workout. I separated the exercises into two different circuits. You’ll perform each movement within the circuit for the prescribed number of reps before moving on to the next circuit. 

Depending on what your goal is for the day, you can go through each circuit one time and then move onto your lower body workout, or, you can make this its own workout by repeating the circuits several times for a total booty burner. Make it your own!

Circuit 1

Tempo Air Squats - 15 Reps

position 1 for airsquats
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your knees in line with your toes.
  3. Lower into the squat position, pushing through your heels and squeezing your butt on the way back up.
  4. Tempo refers to the slow, controlled pace at which you will lower into the squat and then raise back out of it.

Squat pulses - 10 Reps

position 1 for squat pulses
position 2 for squat pulses
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your knees in line with your toes.
  3. Lower into the squat position, pushing through your heels.
  4. Remain in the squat position, pulsing at the bottom of the motion for a count of 3 before pushing back up.

Lateral Crab Walks - 20 Reps

lateral crab walk move 1
lateral crab walk move 2
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Bend your knees and lower into the squat position.
  3. Keeping your knees in line with your toes, step one leg out laterally to the side, followed by the other. Alternating starting legs, moving back and forth.

Alternating Curtsy Lunges - 16 Reps

position for curtsy lunges
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Make a clockwise semi-circle with one leg, sweeping it behind your standing leg, lunging towards the ground.
  3. Get your knee as close to the ground as possible before pushing through your standing heel and coming back to your starting position.
  4. Repeat on the other side and alternate back and forth.

Circuit 2

Single Leg Pulsing Reverse Lunge - 5 Reps Each Side

reverse lunge position 2
reverse lunge position
  1. Begin in the reverse lunge position (one leg behind the other with knees bent).
  2. Drop your back knee towards the ground, hovering just above the floor.
  3. Pulse your back knee up and down for a count of 3 pulses before raising your knee back to the top. Repeat for a total of 10 reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Standing Glute Kickback - 12 Reps Each Side

standing glute kickback position
  1. Holding onto a bench, wall, or other stable object, lift one leg back behind you, raising it to the top of your range of motion.
  2. At the top, focus on squeezing your glutes before allowing the leg to come back down in a controlled motion.
  3. Repeat for a total of 12 reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Fire Hydrants - 16 Reps Each Side

position for fire hydrants
  1. Start on your hands and knees on a mat or comfortable place on the floor.
  2. Abduct your knee outwards, keeping your knee bent.
  3. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement before controlling the leg back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for a total of 16 reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Side Lying Leg Raises - 12 Reps Each Side

single leg lying leg raises
  1. Begin by laying on your side on your mat or comfortable place on your floor.
  2. Rest your head on your elbow and keep your body in a straight line.
  3. Raise your top leg up towards the ceiling, paying attention to the squeeze at the top of your range of motion.
  4. Slowly lower your leg back down on top of the opposite leg. Control the movement! Don’t use momentum to fling your leg up, be intentional with the movement.
  5. Repeat for a total of 12 reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Get a Better Butt and Stronger Body With Glute Activation Exercises!

One of the best things I did for myself over the last few months was to be very intentional about warming up and turning on my glutes before beginning my lower body workout. When my glutes are fired and ready to go, they know what to do when I pick up my weights or get into my workout.

Not into lifting weights? No worries! This glute activation without bands workout can be a whole workout on its own. Complete each circuit 2-3 times through and I’ll guarantee your backside will be lit up and on its way to looking firmer and more toned than ever.

Want More Workouts Like This?

If you try this workout out, let me know what you think! Come join my Facebook Group, Fit Home Healthy Life and let’s workout together!

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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