What I've learned now through playing squash is that I think I have issues with the muscles in the lower body firing - particularly my glutes. If I try to stand up out of a chair with my thighs parallel to the floor and my shins vertical, I can't do it. I wind up pulling my feet back more 'under' my weight and rock forward (using my calves definitely and quads, I think). There's no engagement in the glute area, nor do I notice any when I'm lunging on the squash court... Rocking Up Out of A Chair
Everyone leans forward and rock forward to get out of a chair, etc. It is normal.
Rocking forward activate the glutes. You may not think they are working but the glutes are working. Lunge Glute Activation
The glute ARE engaged when you are "lunging on the squash court..." Again, you may not think the glutes are working but they are.The Contacting of A Stretched Muscle
The glutes are stretched in a lunge or getting out of a chair.
The only to stand up straight in from a lunge or getting up out of a chair, etc, (where the glues are stretched) is to contract the glutes.
The glutes do NOT take a nap during the movement and then wake up after your become erect.
I always wanted to do something like SL or SS, making use of the big compound lifts, but I was worried about hurting myself - particularly my knees - squatting. I work out alone, etc.Working Out Alone
Single leg is an effective method of overload the legs.
1) Step Ups with Dumbbells. This is a great exercise.
2) Lunges. Lunging backward insures you keep the shin perpendicular to the floor. That means less "Shear Force" (stress) is place on the knees.
Many individuals who step forward with a lung, drive the knees forward. This place more "Shear Force" (stress) on the knees.
The higher the Step Up/lower the Lung (greater the glutes is stretched0, the more the glutes are activated though the greater range of the movement. "I think I have issues with the muscles in the lower body firing - particularly my glutes."
"I think" means you are guessing. And you're guessing incorrectly about this.
You don't have any issues with your glutes firing. They are working. How To Find Out For Yourself
EMG research (Electromyography) will show you the activation of the glutes in movement like the lunge, etc. Muscle Meet Magnet
This is a great book that goes into this. What cool is it contain pictures that hi-lite in red the muscles activated in a movement.10 Sets To Failure
Vince Gironda (very good bodybuilder and a great bodybuilding coach) come up with a more practical method.
In working with a woman years ago, she wanted to work her glutes.
I had her do lunges. After a couple of sets, like you, she said her glutes were working. Game On
I had her perform 10 sets of lunges. Each set was taken to failure. She could barely walk afterward. DOMS, Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness
Within two days, the glute soreness told her EXACTLY what muscles were worked...The Glutes were at the top of the list!The Gironda Method
If you truly want to know if your glutes are engaged and firing in getting out of a chair or in lunging in squash, do 10 set of Weight Lunges to FAILURE.
In a day or two, the soreness in the glutes will tell you every movement that activates them.