Butts: without the if's or the ands
It’s the time of year, where spring is approaching, and people are striving towards their ideal aesthetic for the coming season. Many clients come to me with questions regarding sculpting the behind, and the key to achieving this result is ensuring that you are feeling targeted exercises in all the right places. Here are some technique tips focusing on the glute that go beyond the lunges and squats, while also finding the right balance of commitment in order to get there.
THE KEY TO SCULPTING THE BUTT
The glutes are probably one of the most important and powerful muscles in our body, because aside from everyone wanting that area to look fabulous, our glutes are responsible for moving our legs and actually keeping us standing upright! Most transformation requests that I receive include that of getting a better butt, which begs the question of how does one achieve this? Most of the time when people do their lunges, squats, and thousands of reps of other glute exercises in group classes, they are not actually engaging the glute properly, hence no real change. When I am with clients, and direct them to perform targeted exercises, I always ask them if they are actually feeling it, and often times, their response is “not really”. Why is that? It’s because doing these types of body weight exercises require learning how to activate the muscle from the inside. YOU actually have to turn the butt ON! (Yes, I said that correctly) This means that learning how to create tension from within the muscle in order to strengthen it, is imperative, and here’s a way to do it.
THE GLUT EXTENSION
What it is: this is an exercise done either standing or on all 4’s, and requires you to extend your leg directly behind you.
Common mistake: not extending the leg all the way, still having a bit of a bent knee (which will put the exercise more in your hamstring than the glute). Also common is arching the back, putting the stress on the low back muscles, so if you are feeling this type of exercise mostly in your low back, that is a hint that you are not engaging the glut or the core. If this is the case, I suggest you stop, reset, and start again.
How to fix it: start by just holding the leg straight back behind you. Flex your foot, then point your foot repeatedly about 10 times, so you start to feel the different in the entire leg activating. Then, place one hand on your butt cheek to make sure that it is activated. Now, hold the leg straight out, foot flexed, with your hand still on there. Now bend your knee a few inches only (not 10!) and then straighten again. Feel the difference in your glute when it is extended vs when it is bent. Lastly, hold the leg straight out again behind you and think of reaching a wall behind you as you also activate your quad. Now, do you feel the glute?
The answer should of course be yes, but if you don’t, you can also do this in front of a mirror, and you can check and see if your knee is actually straight or if it is still slightly bent. You are aiming to get your knee to zip up your thigh, creating a nice long leg. In fact, you can think of your leg getting as long as possible, as if someone had hold of your foot and was pulling it to make it longer!
FORGET THE IF’S & THE ANDS, MAKE A PLAN
SET A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
At the end of the week once you have an idea of the gaps you may have, set your workout times for the following week. Make it specific to how many minutes or hours you will realistically commit to an exercise routine. I get it, some weeks are more doable than others, so come up with schedule that is realistic for YOU! If that’s 20-30min a day 6 days/ week, then great. If that’s an hour class 3 days out of the week, plus a walk with a friend, then great, if it’s 15-20min a day, then great too! The point is, to make the schedule, and then commit to it. Make adjustments from week to week, until you find the right combination that works for you, and one that you can keep up consistently. The following is just a suggestion, so make your time adjustments accordingly to what you feel you can manage:
Mon: 30min HIIT streaming workout, can be done at home
Tues: My favorite HIIT class
Wed: a 30min walk or run, or a dance class!
Thurs: a Pilates class, or a strength training class, a weight lifting workout, or a personal training session with my favorite trainer (Ariel Hoffman)
Fri: a yoga class
Sat: Play tennis
Write it down and put it in your calendar with notification alerts
Commit to the schedule you set for yourself and start small and doable. If 6 days is too much, then start with 2-3, and work yourself up. Yes, you are busy, you are always going to be busy, the point is that you are committing to something that you know you can accomplish. Carving out this time for yourself is crucial to creating lasting change, so make it a priority and find a way! Now, get to it. I know you can do it.
COMPLIMENTARY TONE X ARIEL CLASS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CARBON38
When: Wednesday, March 13th at 10AM, Palisades Village
Bringing you, TONE X ARIEL my most popular high intensity interval training class, where cardio intervals are combined with functional movement and a bit of dance, while circuits focused on stability, strength, and power are infused throughout. This workout lengthens, strengthens, and tones your muscles, is infused with a dose of fun, and then finishes with a guided meditation and stretch.
And there’s plenty of time to get yourself a new snazzy workout outfit. Use Code: ARIELHOF50 for 20% discount on CARBON38
CHANGE HAPPENS WHEN YOU COMMIT
Sustainable health goals are achieved through consistency, and attaining the results you desire comes from setting plans that are realistic for you. Contact me for your complimentary 30minute fitness and wellness consultation and I will guide you through setting the optimal action plan that gets results and works best for you and your lifestyle.