The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body. Along with its two helper gluteal muscles (the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius) it is responsible for stabilizing your trunk and supporting your balance. The glutes are also primary movers for hip extension, rotation, and abduction.
Many of us suffer from underactive or atrophied glute muscles, largely as a result of sedentary jobs that keep us in a seated position all day. When the glute muscles are weakened, other muscles tag in to compensate. This results in muscular imbalances which can lead to shorter and tightened hip flexors, lower back pain, and poor posture. It can be very difficult to re-train your body to perform movements using the proper muscles. I personally spent a full year working with a trainer on muscle growth and development, and we never were able to get my glutes firing properly. I lacked the knowledge about muscular imbalance that I now have, and didn’t understand how to properly isolate my glutes.
There are several things that helped me once I struck out on my own, but the biggest one was to GET UP as often as I could. I converted my desk at work to a standing desk and frequently leave it to walk around the building. Unfortunately, one daily workout cannot undo what ten hours of inactivity does. You have to make the changes a part of your overall lifestyle as much as possible.
That said, doing glute isolation exercises can certainly help! This workout focuses on the lower body and glute muscles in particular. Watch your form and make sure you’re really isolating the glutes on each move to get the maximum benefit from each exercise. Let me know how you did in the comments!