Monday, June 18, 2012

One of the Biggest Yet Most Underused Muscles

This post will be all about you're behind. Ok don't get too excited yet, not in that way. I also want to preface this with that in NO WAY, do I think I'm Bret Contreras, otherwise known as the Glute Guy, nor am I pretending to be. I can only hope to have the success and credentials that Bret has one day. Enough of that on to the good stuff. Some may wonder, 'Why do I need to activate my butt? I put it to use every day.' The short answer to that is No You Don't, and those of you that couldn't keep your mind focused after that comment, shame shame.
Sitting on your butt all day and every day like most of America does is not using it. It's quite the opposite, the more you sit on it the less you actually use it. No glute activation leads to a wide number of anatomical and life problems as most fitness professionals know that have been around for longer than 2 months without their head in the ground. I'll list off a few and some exercises to do to activate them and maybe a few other quick tips on ridding yourself of the problems.

First and foremost, if you are sitting on your butt constantly and not using it enough, you are most likely slowly going in the wrong direction in terms of your health, period. 12 oz curls, pressing the buttons on the TV remote, no matter how fast or hard, and pulling that lever to your recliner are not nearly enough work for you to call it good for the day in terms of fitness. Easy solution to that, get off your behind, get active and start training towards a fitness goal, if you need help picking a goal, think about what you would like to be able to do physically that you are simply unable to do currently and work from there.

Second, those 'tight' hamstrings that you have, or think you have, are probably 'tight' for a reason. Take a quick look at your hips, if your hip bone and rib cage are close enough together that they are thinking of becoming ying and yang then your hamstrings are tight because they are under constant tension to keep you from walking with your lower back yelling at you more than Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. Some of you have probably already reached this stage, sucks doesn't it? Well a big part of nipping this in the behind or ridding yourself of this pain is to get your glutes activated.

Third point kind of goes along with the last one. If you are doing any sort of lift or exercise that involves your hips flexing, make sure that when you extend them again to make your body straight you use your glutes to extend NOT YOUR BACK. Every time I see someone finish a dead lift by arching their back, after they picked it up with a rounded spine, I die a little inside and my own spine goes into a spasm.

Sorry I sounded kind of pissed/negative in this one, just a wee bit of aggravation creeping out of me, haven't done a Bruce Banner yet though so I'm good. I've posted videos on simple but effective exercises to get your butt going, literally.Yes I used a physioball for one, oh well sue me, the idea there is just a little variety. Remember that 2 legs are easier than 1 leg for those that aren't familiar with how your body works. The final video I have on here is of my client Joe doing a modified barbell hip bridge or hip sled, whatever floats your boat, I will go into more depth on why I posted it, other than the fact that Joe looks pretty good doing it. Thanks again to my steady hand camera man Paul for helping me with this. We both learned not to answer the phone with, "Hey can I call you back I'm about to make movies?" ever again.

Hip Bridge on Floor

Single Leg Hip Bridge (Extended)

Single Leg Hip Bridge (Bent)

Physioball Hip Bridge

Bench Bridge

Single Leg Bench Bridge

The last video is of my client Joe. Joe was one of my first clients here in Hudson, when I first got ahold of Joe he had no clue what a bridge was. Now he's doing a modified version of a Hip Sled, this has also helped him in his Rack Pull and Trap Bar Deadlifts. All in all Joe is stronger, but don't think just cause you do these once in awhile you'll all of a sudden start being a beast like Joe is becoming. Joe works his tail off on top of the fact that he is one of the nicest guys you'll find out there. Certainly a guy you will have an easy time rooting for. It doesn't look like he's pushing much weight, but hey give him a couple weeks. He pulled 395 for a rack pull, which is pretty good considering he didn't even know how to deadlift when we first met. The best thing to note is that Joe is starting to pull all of this weight without any back pain! So the moral of the story is this stuff does actually work so give it a shot.

That's it for this one everybody. Once again any questions, comments or concerns regarding technique or anything else in this post please contact me I'm always eager to talk about fitness and learn. Until next time folks, ta ta for now.

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