6 Ways to Wake Up Sleepy Glutes

You’ve been sitting all day long and research tells us your waistline is going to pay dearly, but who knew the desk life would also turn off signals to our backsides?

Here are 6 ways to wake up sleepy glutes.

Gluteal amnesia or “dead butt syndrome” is a real thing and it happens when your glutes forget how to activate correctly.

While gluteal amnesia may not cause symptoms early on, having a major muscle group like the glutes not working properly will have effects globally throughout your body as time passes.

Some of these effects include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Muscular imbalances
  • Postural distortion

The exciting news is that gluteal amnesia isn’t permanent if you’re willing to do the work!

Glute Exercise #1

Glute Bridge

This exercise is not only an easy move to begin with for nearly everyone, it also has the benefit of being one of the top exercises to activate the glutes.

Start with your body weight and progress to single leg bridges and for advanced trainees, progress to loaded barbell hip thrusts.

Glute Exercise #2

Clam Shell

Start simple on this movement and focus first on “feeling” the glutes. Once you’ve mastered activating the correct area, add some resistance with a band.

Glute Exercise #3

Bird Dog

This “standard” exercise for lower back health can also help wake up the glutes. It’s simple and everyone can do it giving themselves 2x the benefit.

Glute Exercise #4

Donkey Kicks

You’ve probably seen these in every Jane Fonda video or they might even bring back memories of your favourite 80’s movie…but they work.

Glute Exercise #5


About as primal and fundamental as it gets, no lower body development program should be without one or more variations of the squat.

Start with developing a good, solid bodyweight version first and scale up the difficulty from there.

With so many versions to choose from – goblet squat, split squat, back squat, front squat – you’ll never get bored of doing squats and getting the results you want.

Glute Exercise #6


You might associate deadlifts with something only hardcore gym-goers should be doing but that’s just not true.

At least not if you want to wake up your glutes and strengthen your hamstrings at the same time.

Like squatting, there are many variations of the deadlift to keep you occupied but starting with a simple Bodyweight Romanian Deadlift will do the trick!

When it comes to excessive sitting, driving and a generally sedentary lifestyle, we’re starting to understand just how potentially devasting it can be to our health.

Putting our sleepy glutes into that category may seem laughable but gluteal amnesia is no joke. Solving the problem will not only will make you healthier but you’ll look and feel better too!

Dr Brian Lanoue is a Life By Design Chiropractor, blogger and speaker on achieving extraordinary health. It is Brian’s passion and mission to empower you, your family and your community to live extraordinary lives. Brian co-owns The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with his wife Thea.