The glute muscles are the most important muscles in sports and every day life.The stronger the glutes become, the more strongly they contract and safeguard against pain and injuries.
Most people have weak glutes. Even people who think they have strong glutes almost always have very weak glutes in comparison to how strong they can get through proper training.
Some of the injuries that may result from inactive, weak glutes are pulled hamstrings, patello-femoral syndrome (knee pain), piriformis syndrome, ACL tears, low back injuries, hamstring, groin, and even shoulder injuries.
I have my clients do multiple glute exercises in a workout so that the three gluteal muscles are strengthened. I like the Front Plank with Hip Extension because it was ranked as one of the top exercises for muscle activation of both gluteus medius and gluteus maximus in a study that compared top exercises as well as several other commonly performed clinical exercises to determine which exercises recruit the gluteal muscles, specifically the gluteus medius and maximus, most effectively.
Front Plank with Hip Extension
Lie on your stomach on the floor in a plank position with arms bent, palms and forearms on the ground, fingers pointed forward, legs straight, and on toes. Engage your abdominal/trunk muscles. It should feel like you are tightening a corset around your ribs, waist and lower torso. Contract your thigh muscles to straighten your legs and lift your body off the floor.
Next, while in this plank position, lift one leg off of the ground, bend the knee, and bring the heel toward the ceiling for one beat, hold for one or two seconds and then return to parallel for one beat. Repeat 12 times each leg. Contract the glutes and keep them contracted the entire 12 reps.