A strong butt is not just pretty, it’s crucial for good healthy movement. Your butt muscle (gluteus maximus) is attached to your pelvis, which is attached to your spine, which is attached to your neck and shoulders, etc.
And on the other end your glut max is attached to your thigh bone, which is part of the knee, which is attached to your foot.
So pretty much any body part can be suffering from a weak butt.
This fabulous exercise will target your rear while strengthening your arms, shoulders and core as well. In the video below I will show you the proper form as well as explain the function of this extremely effective exercise. You’ll see two different variations of the exercise. They both focus on the same muscles with small changes to the movement.
Remember that it is very important to take the time to get into the proper starting position. Line up your wrists directly underneath your shoulders with arms parallel to each other, and keep your knees in line with your wrists. With this proper setup, you will be able to target your butt muscles most effectively.
Knees If your knee is uncomfortable on the ground, soften the surface that you’re kneeling on with a blanket or pillow.
Wrists If your wrists are painful in the starting position, place your forearms on a chair or stool with the appropriate height, so your shoulders are as high as your hips and your spine is parallel to the ceiling.
Either with palms flat on the seat of the chair or make fists and turn the palms inward.
For the first part of the exercise you will get into the starting position and then reach one leg out to the side, sort of like a kickstand. Then lift it off the ground for a couple seconds. You should feel your butt muscles on both sides working, the moving one and the one that stabilizes. You might additionally feel it in the arms and core due to the stabilization of the whole body during movement. Don’t you love working the whole body with just one exercise?
The second part of the exercise requires you to get into the starting position and then reach one leg back behind you, like a runner in the starting block. The leg is then lifted up behind you. Once it is up you’ll turn your leg so your toes are facing forward and you’ll swing your leg forward with control.
Maintain your control throughout the movement and don’t rush through anything. Breathing out during the difficult part of the exercise is important, as is holding the leg in the air for a couple of seconds before releasing. Be sure to maintain the original stance you set up in the beginning and watch for any swaying, leaning, or rushing through the movement.
You may discover that one side of your body is weaker than the other. This may be true if one side feels more difficult to do than the other, or if you feel your body trying harder to keep its balance.
If you’ve been following me for some time, then you know I never just look at one body part. Everything in the body is connected. If one link is weak, other parts have to compensate and try to do the work that the weak part can’t do. But substitutions are never the real thing.
Don’t Lean Away From The Lifted Leg
When you lift your leg to the side you may feel the arm on the same side working harder, or your body may sink towards the non-moving side to compensate. You may be leaning into the opposite side and not realize it. A good indicator of this is to feel which arm seems to be working harder. If the arm on the same side as the lifted leg is working harder you’re doing it correctly. If the opposite arm is feeling it more you may be leaning. Remember to keep your torso level with the floor, with both arms completely straight. You may need to pause to reposition your body back into alignment before continuing with your repetitions.
If you can’t stop to lean, then you might be lifting the leg too high. Your hip joint might be tight or the muscles weak. Keep the leg very close to the ground, almost touching. I bet you’re feeling the butt muscles work harder with the leg lower! Paradox rox!
Less is more. Do a few repetitions well, instead of a ton of repetitions poorly.
It's not the exercise, it's the technique that gives you the results.
Please ask away in the comments if you have difficulty feeling the exercise, or any other parts of you are unhappy.
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