Do you have low back pain? Hip pain? Knee pain?
Interested in getting stronger and more athletic?
Would you like to lose more weight and have your legs and butt look more toned?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe it is time you added in a bit more glute work into your routine!
Having strong glutes is key to being pain-free and getting great results.
But working your glutes is about more than doing a bazillions squats and lunges.
Because most of us sit all day, our hips are tight and our glutes are actually restricted from firing.
So when we go do all our squats and lunges at the gym after sitting all day, we may NOT actually be working our glutes at all!
If you want to alleviate your pain and get the most out of your leg days, you need to follow a three-step process:
Most people skip the first two steps and go straight to strengthening and wonder why their backs hurt and they’re not getting great results.
And the simple answer is: WITHOUT THE FIRST TWO STEPS YOUR GLUTES AREN’T FIRING! When your glutes don’t fire, you compensate and use other muscles, like your low back, hamstrings and quads.
Compensating leads to injury and decreased performance. Plus, you aren’t working the largest muscle group in your body, which means fewer calories burned during and even after your workout!
So if you want to get the most out of your leg workouts, start with foam rolling. Here are some great foam rolling and stretching moves to do to loosen up your hips, low back and glutes.
A Few of Our Favorite SMR Drills
Then make sure to warm up with a few activation moves. Activation exercises make sure that your glutes are ready and firing for your workout. Because the glutes are activated they will be engaged throughout your strength training.
Try the activation moves below during your warm up. Perform 10-15 reps of each with a 2-5 second hold at the top of each move.
• Fire hydrant – Place your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Flex your feet. Then raise one leg out to the side, keeping the knee at 90 degrees. Try to not let the foot get higher than the knee or the knee get higher than the foot. Really squeeze the butt cheek as you lift.
• Donkey kick – On hands and knees, kick the leg back, keeping the knee bent close to 90 and foot flexed. Don’t let the low back arch. Make sure that as you lift you are squeezing the butt cheek of the leg you are raising!
Also make sure the foot is driving straight up to the ceiling. And do not let your elbows bend.
• Glute bridge – Lay on your back with your feet about hip width apart. You should basically be able to touch your heels with your finger tips. Then bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Drive your elbows, shoulders and heels into the ground as you drive your hips up. Make sure your knees do not fall apart.
Actively squeeze your butt as you drive your hips up. If you feel this a lot in your hamstrings, make sure that you aren’t driving off your heels backwards.
You shouldn’t feel like you are driving back into your shoulders. You want to actual feel like you are driving your knees forward over your toes even though you are driving through your heels.
Now that your glutes are firing, you are ready to begin your leg workout!
Just by adding in those two steps before your strength training routine, you will see increased results and a reduction in pain!
For some great glute strength training moves, stop by for a complimentary training session!
Innovative Results has been voted #1 gym and personal trainers in Orange County, featured in OC Metro magazine and many other local events, charities, schools, etc. We are committed to improving the quality of life for people around Orange County and love helping people move more efficiently, perform at a higher level and leading a more active lifestyle. If you are tired of the same ol’ thing and looking for a new gym in Orange County, then you definitely need to check out the new IR.