April Showers Bring May Flowers!

I think it is FINALLY going to feel like Spring this week.  Thank goodness for that.  Seriously…snow in late March was not fun.

Now that we can focus on Spring time for real, I’ve put together a really simple butt workout for you guys!  It’s a progression workout focusing on muscular endurance to train for strong, lean muscle bellies 🙂  That’s what everyone wants right?!

I didn’t get a change to compose a photo shoot of my own just because the weather was stinky, and I’ve picked up more classes, so I run around like a crazy person all day, everyday!  Not complaining, but apologizing for no amazing photos of meeeeee.   However, I was able to find some great pictures on google images of other people/drawings performing the exercises in this workout.  So, no worries, there is a visual!

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 7.44.26 PM

Week1 you’ll begin nice and easy, with just 1 set of 10 reps.  Each week you’ll add an additional set.  By the end of the month you will have completed 50 reps of each exercise, on each leg!  If you feel that you want to start at a higher rep/set range, feel free!  Just be sure to continue to progress each week! 🙂

To get a real burn, try to go through all the exercises on one leg, then switch and go through on the other.

Here is the breakdown…

bridge

Choose between double leg or single leg with knee grab.  Using this knee grab form will ensure you are isolating the glutes.

donleykicks

When going through your donkey kicks, be sure to maintain a neutral spine.  Head in line with the rest of the body, and hips square with the floor.  Focus on your foot staying flexed, pushing through your heel.  Only go high enough with the leg that you feel a contraction in those glutes, careful to not hyperextend your back (dip the lower back and sag the mid section).  It may be helpful to do this in front of a mirror the first couple of times to get a good feel.

hydrants

This is a classic!  Again maintining a neutral spine, head in line, and hips square with the floor.  Lift your knee out to the side to the point right before you feel a tilt in your body positioning.  If you feel that you are tipping over during this exercise, you are going too high with that leg which is not necessary.  I assure you, you are still going to feel the exercise, get in those glutes, AND maintain great form!

circles

Imagine you are bringing your knee out to the side like a hydrant.  Now, instead of returning back to center/neutral, kick that leg straight back, then back down to center.  Creating a BIGGGGG dynamic hip circle.  Keep this at a quick tempo, but stay in control.  You’ll do this in both directions!

abduc-2

Head relaxed down like photo, or prop up onto elbow like below picture “B”.  Here, be aware of where your hips are, how they are aligned.  Begin with your hips stacked directly on over the other.  Feel free to swing your legs slightly forward as well, so your body is in an “L” shape.  This may feel more comfortable and natural.

Ribbet collage-3

If you choose to position yourself like picture “B” be sure to keep your body lifted by engaging your core muscles, lifting through the rib cage.  Prevent yourself from sagging or sinking into your elbow.


no

Whatever you do, DO NOT hold your head in this position.  It’s a common mistake because that’s how EVERYONE used to do it.  BUT what you are really doing is throwing your head/neck out of place, creating an awkward position for your cervical spine.  This can cause some unnecessary neck/shoulder tension+pain over time or even more serious injury.  Choose to rest your head down completely on your arm, or prop yourself up on your elbow keeping your core muscles engaged lifting through the rib cage.

Remember, listen to your body.  Take breaks when you need to.  Although this is a low/no impact workout, if you are not used to this movements you may cramp if your foot is in a weird place for example.  So go slow, and always be conscious of your body position.

Check Points:

  • Neutral Spine
  • Head in line with the rest of body
  • Hips are stacked or squared with floor
  • Core muscles engaged
  • BREATHE!!!!!!

 

 

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