Bottoms up! Creating your own ‘buns of steel’


imageWeak muscle areas can lead to injury, as one of my group fitness class clients has recently found out.

Hip injuries, for example, can come from weak glutes. Here’s a few glute strengthening exercises to help you create your own ‘buns of steel’. 🙂

Gluteal Strengthening – Basic Exercises

To begin with, the following basic gluteal strengthening exercises should be performed approximately 10 times, 3 times daily if you can. As your gluteal strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions and strength of contraction provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Bridging

IMG_3185Begin this exercise lying on your back in the position shown. Slowly lift your butt, pushing through your feet, until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. Tighten your glutes as you do this. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower your bottom back down. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Hip Extension in Lying

IMG_3186Begin this exercise lying on your stomach. Keeping your knee straight, slowly lift your leg, tightening your glutes. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Hip Abduction in Lying

IMG_3187Begin this exercise lying on your side. Keeping your back and knee straight and foot facing forwards, slowly take your leg to the side, tightening the muscles at the side of your hip (gluteals). Make sure you keep your pelvis still. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower the leg back down. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Clams

IMG_3188Begin this exercise lying on your side with your shoulders, hips and ankles in alignment. Your knees should be bent at right angles and resting together. Slowly lift your upper knee away from your other leg, keeping your ankles together, your pelvis still and tightening your glutes. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower the knee back down. Repeat 10 times as far as possible provided the exercise is pain free.

Gluteal Strengthening – Intermediate Exercises

The following intermediate gluteal strengthening exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your gluteal strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Resistance Band Hip Extension

IMG_3189Begin this exercise standing at a bench or chair for balance with a resistance band around your ankle. Keeping your back and knee straight, slowly take your leg backwards tightening your glutes. Then slowly return the leg back to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible provided the exercise is pain free.

Resistance Band Hip Abduction

IMG_3190Begin this exercise standing at a bench or chair for balance with a resistance band around your ankle. Keeping your back and knee straight, slowly take your leg to the side tightening the muscles at the side of your hip (gluteals). Then slowly return the leg back to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible provided the exercise is pain free.

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