Fitness Fun Friday #18

Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Sunday, May 31, 2009

I know it's Sunday... it's a little delayed, but I've had my coffee this morning, so I'm all set to rock and talk exercise :) And yes, in case you're wondering, coffee has been proven to be beneficial for exercise, just make sure to not add any sugar to it :)

So, if you read the other recent post, you know a little about posture, stretching, and the general importance of warming up and waking up your gluteal muscles. Your butt muscles do two main movements, which include extending your thigh backward (behind you) rotating it both inwards (toward your other leg) and outwards.

It makes sense to me to warm up and do these motions with your bodyweight, before you even start any type of weight resistance exercise. To some of you, these simple motions may be enough of a workout already, and to others... well I have some more difficult exercises set up if you're feeling saucy, spirited, and challenged. Remember, weight training is all about progression.

I wish these videos were of me, but my camera's memory card is too small to really be effective. These videos are all over the Internet, so feel free to search and see some more if you have any questions. Most of the people are doing them correctly.

So to start, after stretching out your hip flexors, turn over and do a supine gluteal bridge. Your back should be flat on the ground, your hips rotated to take out your lumbar curve (smoosh it into the ground), and your knees should be bent. This motion fires the butt muscles to lift your pelvis up and off the ground. It also works the hamstrings, and part of your lumbar spine erectors. Try to squeeze your butt, and use it to lift you off the ground. You want your shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line (diagonal). Hold for 5 seconds, and slowly descend and repeat. If you are feeling it only in your back, reset to the starting position, and really, really concentrate on lifting up with your butt :)
Try for 15 reps, nice and slow. I can almost guarantee you'll feel it.

After this, flip over and assume a 'on all fours' position. This is actually a dog style type move, aptly called fire hydrants. As hilarious as it sounds, you need to picture yourself next to a fire hydrant, and you just drank a gallon of water (hey it is summer). Mentally picture rotating your hip, and lifting your leg out to your side. Focus on lifting the knee to the side, like it's attached to the ceiling. Your back should remain as flat as Kansas on a Tuesday, and no rotation in the back. It's ok to shift your weight slightly, but your core and abs should be tight during the whole movement. You are a human table, built for support. Try for 10-20 reps on each leg, doing all 10 on one leg, and then the other. Our goal here is to try to feel a burn in the side of your hips.

Next, without any rest. Take one leg, and extend it backwards, pointing your toe. It's as if you are pointing to something directly behind you. All of the movement should come from your butt and thigh, and once again... there is no twisting or rotation in your lumbar spine or back. I know it's a little tough, but with a little practice you'll learn how to do the movements directly. Do these for 20 reps each side, alternating each leg.

Grab a drink of water. How do you feel? Do your glutes feel worked? Awesome.
Now for some of you, this is enough already. You might be sore later in the day, or tomorrow. That is perfectly fine. To be super cliche, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was this Lego Dinosaur :)

For those of you wanting a bit more, I have some crazy stuff for you. They are exactly how I like my workout music and BBQ chicken... upbeat, simple, and with a bit of kick.

The first one is bodyweight squats. I would prefer that you do them onto a flat bench, so that you are certain your hips are to parallel (if you are of average height). Most people do not dip down enough when squatting, and that's a problem. You want your thighs to be parallel to the ground... like I could place a tennis ball on them, and it won't roll toward your knee. Remember, your butt extends your legs back, which is basically going from a sitting to standing position. If this isn't challenging enough, try to do a one legged version. Pistol squats work on your balance, and lowering yourself down to a sitting position is especially taxing. You'll love it :) Try 2-3 sets of 15 reps... either together, or with each leg.

Next up is box step ups. This is basically placing one leg up on a box... once again so the front leg is parallel to the ground... and using ONLY that leg to push you up onto the box. If you lean forward, or cheat to boost yourself with your other leg... you'll lose that effectiveness. Do all of the reps on one leg, and then the other. It's much more difficult that way. Just don't hate me :)

And lastly, we have reverse lunges. I like reverse lunges more than ever, because it attempts to stretch the opposite hip flexor as you do the movement (your left hip flexor stretches as you work the right leg). Using your bodyweight or some hand dumbbells, take a step back, and land on that opposite knee lightly. I say lightly, and it would be awesome if you barely put any weight on it, because then ALL of your bodyweight is on the front leg being worked. It definitely works the quadriceps and glutes more that way, and they have to work to stabilize you.

Alright, well that's all I have for today. It's supposed to be 85 and sunny, and I'm going over to a baseball game. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I'll catch up with you guys later :)

Comments (17)

It's legs/glutes day tomorrow for training, so this post comes in perfect time :-) Thank you!

Oh Adam, Adam, Adam... I so need to go to the gym... All this time you were on blog vacation I've been really bad (I was missing all your inspiration). So now I get tired just for looking at the videos, ahahah!

"oh yes, she will be mine!" Classic! Adam, err, Dr. Adam, I so love that you love Wayne's World--excellent!
Party on Adam, party on Garth.


Adam, thank you SO much for the great moves! I love the fire hydrant one, especially... :-) I'm definitely going to add these to my morning work-out routine!

Thank you for your sweet and wonderful comment, too... :-) I've also found Matt's unique cross-cultural combo amusing! :-) Add to the mix that he also speaks fluent German... all sorts of confusion. :-)

Great info sweetie. I got an eliptical machine this year (as well as an AB Rocket) and I figured...simple enough. I got on th darn thing and after 2 minutes my legs started wobbling. NO, I did not stretch before getting on. I thought I was smarer than the machine. WRONG. Now I do some stretching first. Really helps. You are too cool. Glad to have you back.

Lot's of great info. I'm glad you added the videos. The only problem I have is when I do lunges I get knee pain. So I stopped doing them. Any ideas why I get that pain?

Dr. Adam, do you have any exercises for us "seniors" with back problems? :)

Coffee without sugar? No can do! I'm not a big coffee fan to begin with, but I find it totally undrinkable without some kind of sweetener. Believe me I tried!

I think one of my favorite sites for squatting is "The Mistress" is the one I thank for my awesome lower body strength - yes, even more so than my horse!

I'm exhausted just reading this post. Does that count as exercise, doctor? Nice to have you back, Adam. You were missed.

Hi Adam,
Dragon's right. Just reading this post makes me feel virtuous. Does it count if I l(o)unge a bit while I read it?

That is such a neat post. I guess I have been underestimating the importance of stretching all these days. I need to bookmark this and the videos.

I've been trying to incorporate exercise in my daily chores. Squats while on the phone or doing dishes. Running up and down the stairs several times throughout the day, sit ups when I watch the news. Every little bit helps, right?

i'm so all about the hip burn... will be trying out my fire hydrant abilities soon. :)

welcome back!

Ughh your blog always reminds me how much I need to work out but I dont! :(

I have never had birthday cake ice cream that I liked! The frosting in it always turns me off. If I could find some without that frosting swirl, that would be great!

well, if this doesn't make you want to head to the floor and do some exercises, i dont' know what would!

and funny how you mentioned my alignment (on my tri post)... i have issues there :)

Amazing, Dr. Adam! I have tried those squats and step ups, they seemed easier:D, and can definitely feel the difference. Still to try other stuff regularly.

Btw, Google chrome warms me of malicious software each time I try to open your blog, so I am forced to use Firefox. Any reasons? not that it matters, I really don't mind..always worth visiting here:-)

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