Booty, tush, buns, the money maker. But why? (Pun intended.)
Personally, I love living in a town that is known for year-round activities. Whether you’re into biking, hiking, running or skiing, I am certain you can find a source of fitness right outside your door. Have you ever paused to consider what most of these have in common? Aside from fresh air and good times, I am talking about quad dominancy.
While building muscle is beneficial for so many aspects of the body, creating balance throughout is equally as crucial. A strong front needs a strong back. This is where the glutes and hamstrings come into play. For simplicity let’s think of glutes and hamstrings as one force and quads as another. Ideally, when we perform a movement or activity that utilizes all three muscle groups, they are used equally and we don’t rely on one over the others. In reality, this is not the case for most. We are creatures of habit, our bodies naturally compensate to that which is known. A common trait for quad dominancy is tightness and because the body is a kinetic chain, if one joint is out of alignment it can create a domino effect. Tight quads will begin to pull on hip flexors, hip flexors connect to the pelvis. A tilt or pull in the pelvis can shift the hips causing lower back pain. How one muscle/joint works affects the next. Here’s the good news -we have the opportunity to improve this. The even better news? Today, right now, we can create long-term habits that aid in a pain-free lifestyle.
Let’s talk three exercises you can do at home.
1. Glute Bridge
-Lay flat, bring feet in to glutes and press firmly into the floor.
-Tuck your chin slightly for good curvature in spine.
- Lift your hips, squeeze for two seconds at top then lower.
Repeat 4 x 15-20
Single Leg Glute Bridge
- Same set up, this time lifting one leg off the floor and squeeze.
Repeat 4 x 15-20 / leg.
2. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
- Stand with feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, engage core.
- Bend one knee lifting leg off floor. Squeeze supporting leg to activate.
- Keep back in neutral position and soft bend in knee, hinge at hips, lowering torso until almost parallel to floor.
- Squeeze glutes, lift torso back up, into start position.
Repeat 3 x 10-15/leg.
- If this movement is new, consider using something to hold onto for balance.
3. Side Lying Hip Abduction
- Lying on one side of body with hand supporting head.
-Bend bottom leg, keep top leg extended and body in a straight line.
-Point toes downwards to ensure the hips are doing most of the work not the thigh.
-Extend leg as high up as possible.
Repeat for 2 x 20-30 reps/side.
*Challenge: Elevate torso to increase range of motion.
So, let’s get to it. Start squeezing those buns on the regular and bring your body to a place of balance. Long live the tushy!