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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

TENS Unit for Glute Activation: Is It Effective?

A woman touching her thigh, near the glute area

Glute activation is an essential aspect of any lower body workout. Strong glutes improve overall physique and enhance performance in activities like running, jumping, and lifting. However, finding the method to activate them well can be challenging for many fitness enthusiasts. Fortunately, a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS unit for glute activation is more accessible nowadays. TENS models with Electrical Muscle Stimulation or EMS technology can activate the glutes effectively using electric pulses.

A sedentary lifestyle and sitting for long hours can lead to weak glute muscles. These can cause imbalances and increase the risk of injury. Muscle-building exercises, such as squats, may not activate them fully. This is where TENS can be beneficial. People can place the electrodes along the hip joint or gluteal muscles for successful electrical stimulation. To better use TENS, the following sections will present the role of the glutes, the science behind TENS, and correct placement spots.

Understanding the Role of Glute Muscles Before Using a TENS Unit for Glute Activation

Before using a TENS unit for glute activation, understanding the role of glute muscles in the body is essential. The glutes, or gluteal muscles, are a group of three muscles located in the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. They play a crucial role in stabilising the pelvis and supporting the trunk. Moreover, they are necessary for facilitating actions like standing up from a seated position, walking, and running.

Individuals typically have weak or inactive glutes due to prolonged periods of sitting, lack of exercise, or improper activation during workouts. This can lead to issues like lower back pain, hip pain, and poor posture. An effective way to strengthen the muscles is through TENS. They can buy one from a reputable brand or ask a physical therapist for recommendations.

In addition, incorporating exercises that specifically target the glute muscles is crucial. This can include movements such as squats, lunges, and hip thrusts. These help further strengthen the glutes. By combining TENS therapy with targeted exercises, people can effectively improve the function of their glute muscles, leading to better overall lower body performance.

Benefits of Electrotherapy

  • Pain management – It reduces pain by interrupting pain signals from reaching the brain.
  • Muscle rehabilitation – Weak muscles become strong due to electrotherapy. It also improves muscle tone, making it an effective tool for rehab after injury or surgery.
  • Improved circulation – E-stim therapy enhances blood circulation by causing blood vessels to dilate. The increased blood flow helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Consequently, this promotes faster healing and recovery.
  • Reduced inflammation – Electrical stimulation or e-stim promotes the release of anti-inflammatory substances in the body, leading to less swelling.
  • Stress reduction – Electrotherapy triggers the production of endorphins, natural painkillers and mood enhancers.

A TENS kit with refillable gel pad pack and necessary information

The Science Behind TENS Unit for Glute Activation

A TENS unit for glute activation, especially those with EMS functionalities, manages pain and improves muscle function. Sending low-voltage electrical currents to the muscles helps activate the glutes. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals having difficulty engaging their glute muscles during workouts. However, proper electrode placement and TENS usage are essential for optimal results.

The science behind using TENS to activate glutes lies in its ability to target specific muscle groups and improve their function. Delivering electrical pulses to the nerves that innervate the glute muscles can help increase muscle recruitment. Moreover, it can enhance muscle contractions. Thus, people with weak or underactive glutes can utilise TENS to strengthen and activate these muscles during exercises.

Furthermore, TENS alleviates pain and discomfort. Subsequently, this can contribute to better glute activation during workouts. Less muscle pain can help individuals perform glute-focused exercises with greater ease and effectiveness. This can lead to stronger glutes, ultimately contributing to improved athletic performance and reduced risk of injury.

Low and High Frequencies

Activating gluteal muscles with TENS using low frequencies can effectively target the deeper muscle fibres. Also, it can provide a more gentle, pulsing sensation. Low frequencies between two to nine Hz can help with muscle endurance and pain relief, making them ideal for warm-up or recovery sessions.

On the other hand, high frequencies (over 50 Hz) are more suitable for targeting the superficial muscle fibres. Additionally, it is better at providing a more intense, rapid pulsing sensation. High frequencies are ideal for increasing muscle strength and power. Hence, they are more suitable for challenging glute activation exercises or strength training.

A person peeling the sheet from a TENS pad

Pad Placement When Using a TENS Unit for Glute Activation

Ensuring precise electrode placement when using a TENS unit for glute activation is essential for optimal results. Users must attach the pads to the muscle group they want to stimulate, in this case, the glutes. Applying the electrode pads correctly will ascertain the electrical stimulation reaches the intended muscles, helping to improve muscle activation and strength.

To effectively target the gluteal muscles, place the TENS patches on the upper and lower portions of the glutes. This will help cover a wider area and ensure that the entire muscle group is being stimulated. Attaching the pads correctly allows individuals to achieve their desired results. Moreover, this maximises the benefits of using TENS for glute activation.

Furthermore, adjusting the intensity of the electrical stimulation for stronger muscle contractions is also necessary. Users should start at a lower setting and gradually increase for more intense muscle activation. However, they should listen to their bodies and not push beyond their comfort level. Otherwise, this can lead to discomfort or injury.

How to Use the Device

Begin using TENS by applying the TENS electrodes on the targeted glute muscles. The skin should be clean and dry before pad placement to ensure a good connection. Modify the settings, as necessary, to feel the muscles contracting and experience therapeutic effects. Use TENS 15 to 30 minutes per session, with a rest period in between to allow the muscles to recover.

Individuals must focus on maintaining good posture and engaging the glute muscles as they use the TENS device. Utilise it before a workout to enhance muscle recruitment during exercises. Additionally, incorporate it into post-workout stretching to relax and lengthen the muscles.


A TENS unit for glute activation is beneficial for those looking to strengthen their glute muscles. Before using TENS, understanding the importance of the glutes in everyday movement and athletic performance is crucial. These muscles play a key role in stabilising the pelvis, supporting the lower back, and generating power during activities. TENS stimulates the nerves in the muscle, causing them to contract and strengthen. As a result, it improves overall performance and prevents injuries.

The pad placement is crucial for targeting the specific muscles effectively. To activate the glutes, attach the electrodes on the upper and lower muscle fibres of the glutes. For better results, utilise TENS with glute exercises, such as squats, lunges, and hip thrusts. Overall, TENS can help increase muscle activation and recruitment, leading to stronger glutes over time. Individuals interested in wireless TENS with EMS technology can check iTENS from iTENS Australia.

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