5 Mini-Band Exercises to Warm Up Your Glutes and Improve Your Performance

These exercises will activate your glutes to help you lift more weight and sprint faster.

The glutes are what I like to call the "powerhouse" of athletic performance. Whether you're trying to squat heavy or run fast, your glutes need to be firing on all cylinders. That's why it's crucial for you to include glute activation within your warm-up, and using a mini-band is the perfect implement to get things fired up.

The warm-up portion of your workout is the perfect time to prime your glutes for athletic performance. Here are five mini-band exercises that you can incorporate into your warm-up to increase your glute activation.

Mini-Band Glute Bridge

Let's begin on the ground with the Glute Bridge. The Glute Bridge alone will hit your gluteus maximus, the muscle responsible for hip extension. By adding a mini-band around your knees, you also activate the gluteus medius as it fights to resist the force of the band trying to push your knees inward.

Coaching Points:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Place the band either above or below your knees
  • Set your core by flattening your back against the ground
  • Squeeze your glutes and drive your feet into the ground
  • Fight to keep your knees out against the band

Mini-Band Side Shuffle

The gluteus medius is important for stabilizing the legs, and the Mini-Band Side Shuffle is the perfect move for activating this muscle and teaching it to engage during lateral movement.

Coaching Points:

  • Assume an athletic stance with a slight bend of the knees and hips
  • Take short steps laterally
  • Do not move up and down
  • Do not lean as you side step

Mini-Band Squat

This is a great exercise, not only to activate the glutes but also to reinforce the knees-out cue used for squatting. Perform this exercise if your knees have a tendency cave in during squatting movements to teach proper knee tracking.

Coaching Points:

  • Place the band either above or below your knees
  • Perform a normal bodyweight Squat
  • Push your knees out to resist against the band

Mini-Band Monster Walks

This is similar to the Side Shuffle, but in a forward and back motion. Adding a band around the ankles turns on your abductors, and especially your gluteus medius.

Coaching Points:

  • Place a band around your ankles
  • Walk in a stiff-legged manner with a slightly wider than shoulder-width distance between your feet
  • Walk forward and backwards

Mini-Band Kickbacks

Mini-Band Kickbacks are a great way to hit both the gluteus medius and maximus. The combined hip abduction and extension are a great combo to activate these two muscles.

Coaching Points:

  • Stand on one leg with a mini-band around your ankles
  • Keeping your leg straight, drive your leg out and back at a 45-degree angle
  • Squeeze your glutes on your balancing leg
  • If your balance is poor, hold on to a squat rack