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Glute Activation Test & Screens

by | May 29, 2019

These are a couple screens or tests to evaluate for glute activation that you can do to see if you have proper function of the glute muscles (specifically gluteus maximus) in the video below.

The glute activation tests in the video are as follows:

  • Supine Glute Squeeze on Table
  • Standing Glute Squeeze
  • Sitting Glute Squeeze
  • Prone Hip Extension Test

Many of you will see the tests in the video above and think that the first three are too easy. And they probably are. This is testing to see if you have any control of your glutes. Some people just can’t fire the glutes at all and these glute activation tests are to see if you can control them. Think of the ability to activate the glutes as a dimmer switch where there are multiple different levels of contraction. People that cannot activate them sitting or supine will most likely not be able to activate them while seated. Each test gets progressively harder. If you cannot activate the glutes voluntarily during these tests, then you should learn how to do glute activation exercises as you probably have gluteal amnesia

Prone Hip Extension Test is more to determine the quality of glute activation. As stated in the video, the gluteus maximus muscle should contract before the hamstring muscle. If the order is reversed, then the person would have some degree of glute dysfunction. The other part is the quality of the contraction. The muscle should squeeze hard becuase the person should be lifting up toward the end of their range of motion for hip extension with arching the back. That means that glute should eventually engage enough and tighten up. Someone with experience with the Prone Hip Extension Test will tell you that the glute activates in different stages the further that you get in hip extension. In some cases, some people’s glutes will not even fire until the hip gets to 10 degrees of hip extension.

Doing the Prone Hip Extension Test on yourself will most likely mean the you will not pickup on some of these nuances. This is where you should probably get some help from a qualified individual. If you are in pain, you should see a healthcare provider like a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician to be properly evaluated. If you are not in pain, a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician will certainly be able to help you perform at your best, but it would also be beneficial to find an experienced personal trainer. A personal trainer may or may not be able to assess the Prone Hip Extension Test as the training of trainer will obviously vary. Trainers certified as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are can be hard to find, but will most likely have the knowledge to help. Individuals certified as personal trainers (NASM-CPT) or Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) will also have expertise. These individuals may not know how to specifically do glute activation tests, but they should be able to give you a head start.


Dr. Bryan D. Royer has been practicing chiropractic medicine in the Toledo area since 2005. He has a specialty in Sports Medicine and is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician® (CCSP®). Dr. Royer is certified as a Graston Technique® Specialist (GTS), a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP) and a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES). He is also a Board-Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and he has been voted “Best in Toledo” by readers of the Toledo City Paper five times. 

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