The Importance of Glute Activation For Hip & Lower Back Health In BJJ

Proper glute activation and engagement are essential skills for not only athletes, but for proper functioning human beings. With modern culture keeping us stuck in chairs for HOURS at a time, this powerhouse of a muscle group becomes resigned to a seat cushion for large parts of the day.

This results in “gluteal amnesia,” as preeminant spine biomechanist Stuart McGill describes it. This can lead to hip and low back issues.

Importance of The Glutes

It’s important for all people (athletes and everyman alike) to activate and then keep a mind body engagement to this group. This connection allows for much more efficient movement and helps to unite the upper and lower body in a coordinated fashion.

Glute Bridge

Perform 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps or 2 sets of 30 second isometric holds


  • Perform a minimum of 1 set of 10 – 15 reps each side
  • The goal is to feel a light burn, which signifies the proper engagement

Side Plank Variation with Band

  • Perform like above but add a band like from the clamshell exercise around your knees.
  • This will further target your glutes.

Kettlebells Swings

  • Perform a minimum of 1 set of 12 to 15 reps
  • We’re not worried so much about a workout here, but the ACTIVATION of this muscle group

Tips on Cueing Glutes Throughout The Day

  • Anchor feet by screwing them outward into the ground
  • If the ground were ice, your feet would end turning away from one another
  • Slight posterior tilt
  • Squeeze glutes
  • Tighten simultaneously all while exhaling (belly draws in towards the spine)

Final Considerations

Take this engagement seriously early in the day while keeping a subsequent connection to throughout the day. It will be instrumental in making your body work in a more synergistic fashion.

Movement will be easier. Stillness will be easier. And of course, if it seems like I’m exaggerating this importance, find out for yourself firsthand! I promise you won’t feel worse.

I cover more performance training tidbits with my ebook “The Foundations of Movement Autonomy, Vitality, and Performance” that will help you prepare, recover, and perform better on the mats


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