The gluteus medius and the external hip rotators are key for stabilizing your lower back, hip joints and the entire lower extremity (including the foot and ankle). When the lateral hip "stabilizers" are weak, also referred to as the muscle being "inhibited", you may have underlying issues that can be masked or silent for some time. The root cause of this is generally sitting at a desk too much or an overall sedentary lifestyle. The onset of symptoms is often dependent on the type of sport or activity. Varying factors include differing anatomy (male vs. female, lean vs. overweight, age). Underlying weakness, often due to larger muscles over-compensating, is referred to as "DEAD BUTT Syndrome." Often times, you may try to rely on walking, jogging or another form of cardio as a warm-up. Generally, the glutes will not get properly recruited or warm until 10-15 minutes into your exercise. At this point, you may already be 50% finished! This leaves more room for error or injury due wear and tear caused to the hip joint, lower back, knees and/or ankles due to the glutes medius not doing its job.
Clink on the "kick-back" warm-up below to hit the ground running (sometimes literally) and prevent injuries from occurring to your lower back, hips lower leg. Take it to the next level during STEP 2 by performing the hip exercises to increase strength and endurance.
Challenge: Choose an exercise and do max effort or fatigue workout. 20 reps for the first set. Rest for 15 seconds. Do reps up to fatigue (max effort). Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat for as many sets as possible (Until you can't do even one more rep).
Below STEP 1 is a link for a suggested warm up for all ages and activities to increase blood flow and neurologically "wake up" that dead butt. Also listed below under STEP 2 is a very well constructed hip strengthening program on stack.com (click on each video tutorial)
A warm-up to activate and recruit the hip stabilizers prior to activity. Use an exercises band or just body weight. 3 sets of 10-50 reps on each side
Click on the link for a comprehensive hip and gluteal strengthening program to stabilize the back, hips lower legs