No, this is not a cheap trick to get TMS to come back out of retirement. (If he does I am gong to call him Brett Favre from now on).
I genuinely need some tips on activating and strengthening my glutes. They are too pancakey for my taste - also too weak.
Right now I do heavy lifting that includes squats, deads, one legged squats, one leg bulgarian deadlifts, step ups with weights, dynamic step ups (jumping), and box jumps.
I still feel like they are "dead" or don't fire right. Any butt tips?
(Oh and this is soooooo Paleo as those HGs have strong bottoms!)
Have bike, have butt. The best racers in the world use their glutes more and the less proficient racers rely on their quads. Le Tour is on now so plenty of spandex clad riders to check out :) I don't know what your workout schedule is, but if you do a 30 minute resistance session of deadlift, single leg box jump, quad specific barbell squats, then follow it with 30 minutes of HIIT with cycling? You'll be able to bounce a quarter off your bum and get fifty cents back in no time :)
I'm going to come at this from a completely different angle. Alignment. I follow a blog about biomechanics and Katy Bowman, the author has a lot of stuff to say about they way that most people walk, sit etc.
Have a look at this post and see if you can do the movements without your tailbone tucking under: http://www.alignedandwell.com/?p=1310&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=223
ps. Not suggesting that you can't, but if you feel that your glutes aren't firing, maybe it is more about alignment that anything else? And of course, I might be completely on the wrong track, but worth mentioning :) .
It's not the exercises, it's training yourself to actually use the right muscles in the exercises. Deadlifts, Heavy Squats, Hill sprints on a bike, Rowing...All of those have the POTENTIAL to use glutes and hamstrings almost exclusively. However unless you're activating those muscles on purpose, you're probably defaulting to just using your quads. I'm now about three years into a pretty serious strength-based crossfit program, and it's only this summer that I've learned how to actually activate the glutes and hamstrings in those workouts (and it's really helped my mountain biking too now that I can easily turn on the hamstrings and not rely only on the quads). Generally, if you have a office-type job or really any jobs where you spend the majority of your day sitting, your posterior chain will be pretty weak and hard to turn on. Normally I'd recommend getting a trainer of some kind to help you, but most trainers aren't smart enough to know how to train that. So unless you find someone who knows how to teach you to activate the posterior chain, you'll have to figure it out for yourself. I'd focus on Deadlifts and Squats. Do them heavy enough that you feel it, but light enough that you can play around with form a little. Try things like keeping your weight way back on your heels, sticking your butt back, whatever makes you feel the weight in your glutes and hamstrings and NOT in your quads. If you feel it in your quads you're doing it wrong. Be patient, it really did take me a long time to figure it out, but then I'm kind of an uncoordinated nerd, so maybe this comes naturally to lots of people.
Deadlift and Deep Squat should be doing it, but you can consider Reverse Hypers if you can locate a machine for them. I'm not a big fan of machines in strength training, but Louie Simmons from Westside Barbell uses them, so who am I to criticize?
As far as "firing" is concerned, if you are to the point of your programming where "dynamic" lifting days can be programmed in...then that might help a great deal. The idea is to take these lifts, but the weight down to 50% of your 1RM and try to perform them in an explosive manner. I wouldn't bother, though, if your DL isn't at least 2xBW.