This time of year, everyone fReAkS out about holiday weight gained, and lack of pounds lost. The reality of the belt fitting tighter usually sets in rigtht about…..wait for it…..wait for it…..NOW!
With that being said, there is hope. Combine the exercises you will get in part two of this article with a little discipline, and maybe a few “push aways” from the table, and you will be smashing a dime with your butt in no time.
There is a catch. It isn’t easy, it will hurt and it will require absolutely perfect form. If you’re still interested, read on. If not, get a Shake Weight.
Before we get into said space clearing of your derier, we need to get into the why and it goes above and beyond merely having it not beep when you walk backwards. As far as I’m concerned, your glutes can never be too strong. They are the central hub, HQ and starting point for optimal spinal health. Some will argue its the abdominal wall, but the butt is where its at if you a strong stable pelvis and properly aligned lower body muscles.
“As mentioned earlier, most people think they have strong glutes, but they don’t. They believe this because they think that squats, deadlifts, and lunges are the best glute exercises, and they’ve spent years getting very strong at these,” says Brett “The Glute Guy” Contreras (Dispelling the Glute Myth, T-Nation 2009). “Even though they can make your glutes very sore, squatting, deadlifting, and lunging don’t strengthen the glutes much. They target the quads and erector spinae.”
Well, that puts a monkey wrench in the proceedings doesn’t it? Well then what’s the best exercise to target the glutes? Its not what you think.
Bridges, yes, bridges. No other exercise activates more glute maximus muscle. How do you bridge that gap? By doing bridges.
This is an exercise that can be completely controlled, monitored and is almost impossible to screw up. It is always a dead give away as whether or not someone has proper glute function.
In fact, give this a shot. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degress and feet under your knees. Push your feet into the floor and raise your hips toward the ceiling. From there lift one leg off the ground and hold yourself up with one leg.
If you feel like your hamstrings are going to explode, you get low back involvement or an overabundance of quad activation, guess what? You’ve got what Paul Chek calls “a sleepy ass.” And that’s VERY, VERY bad.
In part two of this article, I will explain why this happened, how you get rid of that and of course, as promised, the exercises to get you there.
Al Painter is National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) who specializes in working with endurance athletes and baseball players.
He is also the President and Founder of INTEGRATE Performance Fitness. CitySports Magazine named Al the “Bay Area’s Best Personal Trainer,” and he has also received a “People’s Choice Award” from the Palo Alto Daily News.