Here are five exercises to improve both your strength and your shape, focusing on your glutes. Do them all for a complete, effective, and efficient workout, or add just some to your workouts throughout the week. Set, rep, and weight schemes may be modified for any goal. For your custom training plan, contact Christine at the-art-of-strength.com/online-training.html
1) "Back, back back, back, back..." - Sit back like you are trying to find a toilet in a dark room. The second your knees drift forward, you fail.
2) Chest up - Think of a string being pulled from your sternum to the ceiling in front of you.
3) Back tight - Squeeze your shoulder blades until they cramp.
4) Spread the floor - As you ascend, push outward to the outsides of your feet. This activates your glute medius and IT bands, keeping you stable and strong.
If you cannot yet lift 135#, it is best to use bumper plates to be able to roll the bar over your legs to set up. Place your feet under your knees, or slightly forward. The edge of the bench should be just under your shoulder blades to be able to support your upper back when you lift up. Be sure the bench is placed in a way that it will not slide as you move.
With the barbell over your hips, lift your hips toward the ceiling. Hips should be fully extended but do not arch your back. Neck stays in alignment with your back, chin away from your chest. Feet remain flat on the floor and knees should not extend forward of your toes. Raise and lower for desired repetitions, focusing on a flat back, full hip extension, and squeezing the glutes.
BANDED GOOD MORNING
Step into a relatively heavy jumpstretch band, placing it across your upper back/shoulder blades (avoid it being directly on your neck). Arms may be extended or you may hold the band like suspenders. Hinge your hips as though you are trying to touch a wall three feet behind you with your booty. Extend your torso forward towards a flat back, but stop when your back is parallel to the floor or just before your back rounds, whichever comes first. Stand up explosively as the accommodating resistance will be heavier at the top of your range of motion. Squeeze those glutes!
BACK EXTENSION ON THE GLUTE HAM RAISE (GHR)
Position the footplate for a controlled range of motion. Farther from and lower than the knee pad is easier.
Begin with your hips over your head, torso perpendicular to the ground. Activating your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, raise your torso until it is parallel to the ground. Lower your torso and repeat.
To continue into a full GHR, you could begin hips over head, hinge at your hips until torso is parallel to the ground, then hinge at your knees by really activating your hamstrings and glutes until your body is perpendicular to the ground with head over hips (video forthcoming). Be careful not to arch your lower back. Lower and repeat.
Begin with the KB approx one foot in front of your feet, feet shoulder width apart. Hinge at your hips, bending the knees just enough so your hands may reach the kettlebell, while keeping your back flat. Grab the kettlebell with both hands and pull it between your leg. Extend your hips and knees, as your explode to a standing position and swing the KB until it is between eye level and shoulder level with your arms approx parallel to the floor. Your shoulders should be stacked over your hips over your knees over your ankles. You should not be leaning back at the top to manipulate the weight. Control (but do not fight) the descent of the KB as you pull it through your legs again and then explode up to standing. Repeat for desired reps.
Note: this more closely resembles the postures of a deadlift than a squat. It is not a squat and shins should stay perpendicular to the ground.
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