Strong Girl Summer: Got Glutes?Aug 10, 2022
Baby got back! We all want to look good in our favorite shorts, or bikini, but let's talk about why aesthetics aren't the only reason to do glute exercises. Strengthening your glutes also helps with all the fun summer adventures: hiking, paddle-boarding, even gardening (how many times do you find yourself squatting in the garden?). If you have a strong foundation, not only will these activities be easier, but you'll also lower the risk of injury while you're doing your weekend warrior thing!
Here are my top five glute exercises for building strength and shape!
Movement Cues: Hinge at the hips and maintain a neutral spine (flat back) throughout the entirety of the exercise. Drive your hips forward to pull the weight up to a standing position, squeezing your glutes at full extension of the hips. Push the hips back to return to your starting position, and repeat.
Movement Cues: Position yourself with your shoulder blades just above the edge of a box, bench, or other stable surface. Bring one leg off the ground, and drive through the heel and mid-foot of your working leg. Push upward until you reach full extension of the hips, aiming for a 90 degree bend in the knee when the hip is fully extended. These should be felt in the glutes and hamstrings.
Movement Cues: Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest. Sit into a squat position by breaking at the hips and bending your knees, keeping your torso as upright as you can, and keeping your feet flat on the floor. Aim to hit a 90 degree bend in the hips if possible at the bottom of the squat. If this is a new exercise for you, you can also squat to a box or a chair until you feel comfortable with a deeper squat.
Movement Cues: This exercise is an alternative to the Single Leg Deadlift. It targets the same muscles, but takes the balance element out of it. Position one foot as a "kickstand" behind the working leg. Hinge at the hips, focusing on maintaining a neutral spine and feeling a "stretch" down the hamstrings and glutes. Drive the hips forward to come up to a standing position and repeat.
Movement Cues: Prop one foot up onto a box, bench, or chair. Position your front leg so that you get a 90 degree bend in the knee at the bottom of the movement. Make this exercise more challenging by adding weight. A more upright torso will target the quads, and a forward lean of the torso will target glutes.
Give those a try and let me know how you feel! You can always join the conversation and get more fitness tips and videos on Instagram at @livefitpdx or sign up for my emails. If you're ready to next level your training, check out my 12 Week Sculpt Program.
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