Firing up your glutes will not only look better, but will also help contribute to less stress on your back, hips and knees, as discussed in (Part 1: Glute Amnesia)
So here are a few exercises that you should throw into your workout or use to prep your glutes for your workout.
In order to properly strengthen the gluteal muscles, tight muscles that oppose glute activation need to be stretched out first. Usual suspects include hip flexors and hamstrings. If you need some ideas for hip stretches, check out this website: http://www.stretching-exercises-guide.com/hip-stretches.html
- Begin lying on the floor, with a tennis ball or rolled up towel placed just underneath your rib cage (front side). Bring your knee up to your chest and squeeze down the tennis ball or towel.
- Pushing your heel into the ground, raise your hips off the ground and hold for 3-5 seconds.
- Return back to the ground, and repeat 10-15 times per side.
Hip hinge with dowel
- Grab a dowel, broomstick or hockey stick and hold against your back so that it is touching at your head, mid and low back.
- Shift your butt back and hinge forward at your hips. Make sure to keep the dowel in contact with your head and back, so that your spine stays neutral through the exercise, the movement should all be at the hips!
- Squeeze your glutes to raise your torso back up to starting position, and repeat 8-10 times.
- To begin, make sure you stiffen/brace your core and left leg.
- You can perform this exercise holding on to a wall or chair to help guide yourself through the proper movement.
2. Slowly bend at the hips and travel your right leg behind you, as your torso stays straight/neutral.
- Keep a small bend in the left leg and make sure your hips stay leveled- quite often the right hip will want to hike upwards.
3. Repeat this movement on the opposite leg.
- Dumbbells or kettlebells can be added into this exercise to increase the difficulty once you have mastered the correct form
Dr. Nicole Barry completed her Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology with Honours at Western University in London, Ontario. She then continued on to Toronto to successfully obtain her Doctor of Chiropractic at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.