Category Archives: Workout
So on days where I don’t feel like doing yoga and my body isn’t really ready to do a full workout, I will do a “Recovery workout.”
These workouts are usually hard but focus more on postural strength and balance then on developing maximal strength or burning a ton of fat. They work on activating all the correct muscles as you work on perfecting form.
These workouts are the prep that most people need to do so that they can move well and really get the most out of their metabolic or strength training workouts.
The recovery workout below can be done on its own or shortened into a warm up for a full body workout day.
The good part about the workout too is that you can easily do it at home with no equipment even when you don’t have much time!
3-5 rounds of all the exercises below. Perform a 1 minute hold of each exercise. Try not to rest between each exercise. Try only to rest after each round is complete.
Balance on toes (So literally stand up on your toes and hold. If this is easy, balance on your toes on one foot for 30 seconds and then switch to the other foot. Stay as high on your toes as you can and don’t rock to the outside of your foot.)
Squat Hold (Squat down to parallel, not below, and hold. Focus on keeping your chest up and not leaning forward. Push the butt back and really sit into your heels. This is a great time to really assess and work on your squat form.)
Scapular Hold (So you will “lean” back against the wall with only your elbows touching the wall. The further out you walk your feet away from the wall, the harder the move will be. As you lean back with only your elbows against the wall, you really want to press your chest out and pull your shoulder blades down and together.)
High Plank Hold (So hold at the top of the push up from your hands and toes if possible. You can make this easier by doing it from your knees. Make sure to brace your abs by pulling your belly button into your spine and tucking your hips under. Don’t arch your low back or round your upper back. Keep the shoulder blades retracted and everything tight from your shoulders to your core, butt and quads.)
Glute Bridge (Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips up as high as you can and squeeze your butt cheeks. You shouldn’t feel this in your low back. You should feel it in your glutes and a bit in your hamstrings.)
With all of these moves, you should struggle within the first 20 seconds if you are really challenging yourself. Fight to squeeze as hard as you can as you hold the moves!
It is a whole list of workouts that work your body in under 15 minutes. Some I really like…others not so much.
But the point is…You CAN get in a GREAT WORKOUT even if you only have 15 MINUTES! Sometimes you even get more out of a short workout then you do out of spending hours in the gym…actually I would say more often than not keeping it short and sweet is the way to go! (Definitely not always 15 minutes short, but still…)
Which got me to thinking about some of my favorite 15 minute workouts….or well short workouts at least.
Below I’ve included two different ones both under 30 minutes although I’m not sure exactly how long.
One is a pretty full body cardio blast that is based off of the Training For Warriors Hurricane and the other is a strength training workout that is sure to burn out your legs!
“Hurricane” (This is what the volleyball girls have to suffer through for cardio sometimes)
So below are three different circuits. You will complete three rounds of each circuit before moving on to the next circuit. Your rest between each round of the circuit should be short and no more than the time it took you to complete the round. In between each circuit, take a slightly longer break of about a minute or two.
Circuit 1 x 3 rounds (If doing with a partner alternate who goes.)
Shuttle Run (or Suicide Run…takes about 15-30 seconds to complete)
Forward/Backwards Crawls (length of the longest suicide or shuttle sprint)
Sit Thrus x 10 each side
Circuit 2 x 3 rounds
Lateral Crawls (length of the longest suicide or shuttle sprint)
Mt. Climbers x 25 each side
Circuit 3 x 3 rounds
Circle Crawls x 5 each way
Single Leg V-ups x 15 each side (So one leg is straight up toward the ceiling while the other is straight out an inch or two off the ground. Crunch up and reach for the toe that is up then lower the upper body down and switch which leg is up and crunch up again with the upper body. Repeat alternating legs until all reps are complete.)
NOTE: Crawls are all table top crawls. When doing circle crawls, pretend your belly button is attached by a string to the ground and you are moving around that point with your hands and your legs.
15 minute Quad focused Blast
Set a timer for 15 minutes and do as many rounds as possible!
Single Leg Squats 8-12 reps each side
Split Squat Jumps 8-12 reps each side
Reverse Sled Drag 50 ft (HEAVY) (If you don’t have a sled back pedal up a hill or back pedal pulling anything heavy!)
To work my quads I prefer to use these compound movements. While they will work other muscles besides my quads, they really are super quad focused and your quads will be toasted by the end of the 15 minutes!
Try to rest only enough so that you can continue completing all of the exercises with good form.
So the swing that I would like to discuss is the one that is best for your butt – the Russian swing.
The Russian kettlebell swing is a hip hinge just like a glute bridge or deadlift. The main muscle working in the hip hinge is the glutes with help from the hamstrings (and of course other stabilizer muscles).
And while you see everyone and their mother’s uncle attempting some sort of hinge exercise, most people don’t do it correctly - People either turn the hinge into a reach with their back (aka back rounding) or a squat.
It’s interesting…the hip hinge should be an easy movement for us to do but it is actually the one that most people have trouble with.
So how do you teach this easy but hard movement?
I start most people out with glute bridges. Once they have mastered the two leg, bodyweight glute bridge, I move them to a standing hip hinge near a wall.
The key with the standing hip hinge near the wall is to use the wall as a guide. You want to make sure that they keep their back flat and reach their butt toward the wall.
If they have trouble keeping their back flat, you can have them hold some sort of dowel down their back and make sure that the dowel doesn’t come off their head and butt because their back rounds or really separates from their back because they over arch.
If they seem to have trouble getting their butt closer to the wall (or even to touching it…I sometimes start them close enough so that if they do it correctly their butt will actually touch) and they aren’t rounding their back, then they are most likely squatting.
Use the wall or pole or something behind them to teach them to stick their butt back and hinge at the hip-joint. If they perform the movement correctly their butt should either touch or at least get closer to the object behind them!
After they master the bodyweight standing hip hinge near the wall, I will add a resistance band around their hips to teach them to be explosive with the movement.
With this move you face away from the wall with the resistance band attached to something behind you. You wrap the resistance band around your hips and step as far away as you can.
Then you hinge over and explosively come back to standing, squeezing the butt cheeks and driving the hips forward.
For this move, you will need to assume a more athletic stance (so knees slightly bent through the entire motion) than you would necessarily for the standing hinge by the wall.
The resistance band is an especially great way to teach the kettlebell swing because the band mimics the weight of the bell.
Your hips go backwards and you hinge over because the weight drives you backwards and you want to absorb the load. You then squeeze your glutes and drive your hips forward to propel the weight forward.
Once you have managed this you are ready to start on the actual swing. Start with the two-handed, single bell swing.
Starting with the kettlebell on the ground, you will hike it backwards like a football to start the swing. It doesn’t matter how high you get the kettlebell to go…and actually it really shouldn’t ever get above your shoulders!
You are powering each swing with your hip hinge. As you swing the kettlebell forward, you will have a slight lean back at the top and a slight posterior tilt to your hips because you are squeezing your butt cheeks. You arms aren’t working at all to lift the kettlebell…it is swinging because of the power from your glutes.
You then leave your hips out long enough to catch your forearms with the kettlebell descending. You don’t want to be hinging over while the kettlebell is away from your body. You hinge over only to slow the kettlebell down and absorb the momentum.
The connection between your forearms and hips is very important and is key to making sure this movement is powered by your glutes and not your low back!
Your forearms then maintain a connection with your hips as you hinge over leaning forward with your chest to counteract the weight of the kettlebell between your legs.
The kettlebell should go back smoothly and shouldn’t really swing up and hit you in the bottom. If it does, you are actually using too much power for the weight and can probably even go up in weight.
This video actual shows a great swing.
In this swing, his spine is in line from the tip of his head right to his tailbone. At the top of the swing, he is standing up straight with only a slight lean back and he hinges back over when the kettlebell drives his hips back. There isn’t a gap between his forearms and hips as he goes back into the hinge. Everything is connected and moves TOGETHER. As he hinges over, his butt goes back. He doesn’t squat and his back doesn’t round.
If your swing looks like this and you can feel that forearm/hip connection, you are doing the move correctly and can start upping the weight or playing around with variations.
Another variation of the swing, the single arm swing, can also be a great way to learn the swing movement as it can sometimes force people to maintain that forearm to hip connection. BUT this variation is more challenging on the core and may be more challenging on the grip.
To progress the swing move, try a double bell swing, but when you do this make sure you have a really really good handle on the other two variations first.
While the kettlebell swing can be a more frustrating move to truly master, it really is a great way to develop glute strength and improve your power. It can be a great way to get over a deadlifting plateau if you find yourself struggling!
Shoot some people even argue that heavy kettlebell swings are even better than deadlifts….and, while I love my deadlifts, kettlebell swings are definitely pretty freaking good.
So work on your swings today. If you aren’t confident in your hip hinge (if you round or squat), start with a beginning move like the glute bridge and progress from there. Don’t just jump right into swings and end up hurting your low back!
And….P.S. Speaking of progression yesterday…this article is basically one to do the kettlebell swing!
So yesterday I had a new client that I was assessing, lay on her back and raise one leg straight up toward the ceiling. I wasn’t looking at hamstring flexibility, I was looking for asymmetry between her two sides. Asymmetry puts people at greater risk for injury and means that there are some imbalances that need to be taken care of.
When I had her raise her leg, she said to me, “Oh I’m not very flexible.”
I told her it was ok…that I wasn’t looking at flexibility.
She said, “Ok, but still…it is embarrassing!”
I smiled and thought…It’s crazy that people worry so much about their flexibility, especially when there are really bigger fish to fry!
How important is being flexible really? I mean is it really important that you are able to touch your toes?
Honestly, being able to touch your toes really isn’t that important, BUT that doesn’t mean you should be locked up and immobile.
Mobility is WAY more important than flexibility. Mobility means how well we are able to MOVE..to squat, jump, push, pull.
Being able to touch the ground with your head while standing with straight legs doesn’t mean you are going to be able to move well. In fact, it could mean that you have potential imbalances that are actually inhibiting you from moving well.
So while being able to do the splits is cool and something that you may decide you want to master, being that flexible really isn’t essential to being able to move well.
What is essential to being able to move well is mobility of the joints.
And to have mobile joints means much more than having crazy flexibility. Flexibility can mean different things for different people.
You are flexible enough to be mobile if you take care of all shortened and tight muscles. So if you sit a lot, you need to make sure that your hips, which have been tightened and shortened by sitting all day, have been stretched and loosened so that proper length-tension relationships have been developed between all muscles around your hip.
And on top of needing good length-tension relationship between all the muscles around a joint, to be mobile you must also make sure that all the correct muscles are activated. That means that if you expect to have good hip mobility, you can’t have shortened and tight hip flexors and UNDER ACTIVE glutes.
So you must make sure that on top of making sure tight muscles are loosened and lengthened that overactive muscles are relaxed and under active muscles are ACTIVATED.
If you want to be mobile, stretching or flexibility is just a piece of the puzzle. You also need to do SMR (self-myofascial release aka foam rolling) and activation exercises.
While stretching is GOOD it isn’t near as important as most people make it out to be. You don’t need to be able to touch your toes….It may be something you want to do, but it isn’t necessary.
And even when people do spend a lot of time stretching, they usually stretch muscles they LIKE to stretch, not the muscles that are necessarily tight from sitting or doing repetitive movements day in and day out.
So instead of spending a ton of time stretching each day, focus on only stretching the tight muscles and use the rest of that time to do SMR and activation exercises! You will become more mobile and therefore GET MORE OUT OF YOUR WORKOUTS!
For months now I haven’t really touched a dumbbell or a barbell, BUT I’ve still been lifting heavy.
And while I still LOVE barbell lifts, I have become very fascinated by lifting with awkward weights.
In every day life, we rarely have to lift something that is perfectly balanced and easy to grip. So even though in the gym we may be able to deadlift 500lbs on the barbell, it may be impossible for us to lift even 100lbs in the form of an awkward box on the floor.
And which is more important to be able to do?
While I love deadlifting, I must admit I really really really get frustrated when I can lift or move something on my own.
I don’t like struggling to lift, carry and move things. And I most definitely HATE when I have to ask for help.
So while I’ve always considered a deadlift a functional lift, it might not really be that functional when you add weight in the perfect form of a barbell.
It was actually incredibly humbling to find out just how not functionally strong the barbell deadlift had made was when I did my first strongman atlas stone lift on Saturday (which is probably one of the most functional lifts out there).
The baby stone is 125lbs.
I was told to start with that one. It looked small enough and I figured I wouldn’t have any trouble. I could easily deadlift 125lbs!
Shoot…I even thought I might be able to attempt the next one up!
Uhm…lifting a round concert 125lb ball is WAY different than lifting 100 more pounds on a barbell.
The first time I attempted to lift it, I couldn’t even move it off the ground.
I couldn’t budge 125lbs!?! WHAT!?!
It was awkward and hard to grip. There was nothing to hold on to! You just had to squeeze the ball with every inch of your hand and arm. You even needed to use your back to grip the dang thing otherwise you were going to drop it.
And on top of that, it wasn’t just one smooth lift up like the barbell lift. It was a lift to your thighs before you needed to re-grip so that you could really use your glutes to power the ball up.
It was honestly exactly the move you realistically have to do when you move super heavy awkward things in everyday life.
I can name a few times when I’ve moved that I can remember attempting that exact same move to lift a heavy box (and actually failed to get it off the ground even though I was lifting super heavy with dumbbells and barbells)….SO FRUSTRATING!
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to move something!
So it really got me to thinking about all of the time I spent doing the traditional lifts – doing traditional exercise moves.
While I love them, they may just be more functionally beneficial when done with AWKWARD weights.
You don’t need to give up deadlifts, push ups or any of the other meat head moves (that I most definitely love).
But maybe you can just make them better by adding in some awkward elements.
Like pull ups for example…
I can do pull ups off a bar…but pull ups holding on to some awkward rock climbing grip things? OUCHIE!
Or overhead presses…Instead of using a barbell, what about a slosh pipe? WAY more core engagement when you lift that pipe only half filled with water overhead (actually it kind of reminds me of a squirming child, which there is a great chance that sometime in your lifetime you will be lifting up overhead!).
You don’t have to go crazy making the moves overly awkward. Actually you SHOULDN’T try to add in too many strange elements. Awkward is good..Super awkward is crazy.
But anyway, after being humbled by the stone, I would DEFINITELY recommend that if you are training to be strong in life that you add in some more functional variables like awkward weights or grips! You don’t necessarily need to find a gym with an atlas stone, but sandbags and other uneven or awkward weights can be good! (And if you don’t already…get ready to add in some grip training…but that is a post for another day!)
So today our metabolic workout included, among many tortuous things, the Towel Taz.
The Towel Taz has become one of my favorite aerobic conditioning moves. While not necessarily hard if you do it for 10 or even 20 seconds, it becomes brutal at about 30 seconds and completely destroys you if you do it for a couple of minutes.
So what is the Towel Taz?
Basically it is you shaking a towel as powerfully and quickly as you can up and down while moving quickly around from side to side, in a circle, forwards, backwards and every which way. (Just like the Tasmanian devil above, you are basically moving around as fast as you can in a whirlwind!)
Trust me…It is harder than it sounds. That towel that at one point seemed light (although the moving blankets we use don’t exactly feel light even to begin with) gets pretty heavy, pretty quickly. And your legs get amazingly fatigued moving around quickly.
BUT I also like this move because it is something that anyone at any level can do.
AND you can easily do this move even at home…or well…anywhere for that matter! All you need is a towel or blanket. Even a freaking bath towel will work! You don’t even need a lot of room to do this move (just make sure there isn’t anything around that you could knock over with the towel!).
So the next time you want to do a little aerobic conditioning, but don’t feel like going for a run or you don’t have a piece of equipment like a treadmill, bike, VersaClimber or elliptical handy, grab a towel!
Start with 3 two-minute rounds of Towel Tazes. Try to decrease your rest from 2 minutes in between each round to only 30 seconds between each round. BUT if you decrease rest, make sure that you aren’t doing it at the expense of working hard the next round. It is better to rest for 2 minutes and work just as hard the second and third rounds than it is to rest for only 30 seconds and be super sloppy the last couple of rounds.
Once that feels easy try 5 rounds or even up the time that you do the Towel Taz.
OR if you are looking for a great metabolic circuit, try the one I did today!
3-4 Rounds of the following 9 exercises, with one minute rest between rounds.
Each exercise is done for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest to change to the next exercise.
Sled “Fight” (Push, pull, rotate the sled every direction within a small amount of space.)
Power Ropes battling waves with shuffle (So alternate arm waves while shuffling side to side.)
Push against Wall (So if you don’t push yourself on this one it isn’t hard, but what you do is literally push against a wall as if you want to move it!)
Lateral Shuffle, Sprawl, Sit Thru (So shuffling in a semi-circle, at random points drop to the ground and perform a sit thru, which is an ab move where you lift your left hand and bring your right foot up to replace your hand and literally “sit through.”)
Bag Carry (Take a heavy bag, sandbag or any other awkward heavy bag and bear hug it and walk around quickly.)
Sidewinders (Using a two-inch, 50 ft rope, stretched out all the way, rotate side to side creating waves like a snake moving over the ground. A total ab killer!)
Woodchop Sit ups (Hold a weight with both hands over your right shoulder. Knees bent, sit up and drive the weight across down to your right hip. Then lay back down and repeat)
Glute bridge with twist and reach (In a glute bridge reach your right hand as far back over your head on your left side as you can. Then come back center and reach your left hand across your body and as far overhead to your right as you can.)
Super good! AND lots of different ways to move!
Anyone else have any random exercises that they love that look kind of stupid and not that hard but are actually KILLER?
So as you all know…I don’t like cardio very much.
Yea….yea…I know I’ve told you this a bazillion times before.
However, cardio conditioning IS an ESSENTIAL part of your workout program.
Put that doesn’t mean you should just throw in some jogging for a few minutes before or after your strength.
It doesn’t mean you should go out and run a bazillion sprints.
It doesn’t mean you should spend hours on the treadmill!
It means you should lay out a plan and make sure that you properly progress yourself through all three energy systems. (Starting to see a theme here?…Maybe a PLANNING or PROGRESSION theme!?!)
You may now be asking yourself…”Three energy systems?”
YEP! There are three different energy systems that you want to work when you do cardio conditioning and each has a separate, but equally valuable, part to play.
By varying which energy zone you use during your conditioning, you can vary the intensity of your workouts to prevent yourself from overtraining.
Ok…so to start, let’s discuss all three energy zones – the aerobic, lactic anaerobic and alactic anaerobic.
The zone all beginners need to start in and the zone that all athletes need to return to keep from overtraining and to keep their base strong is the aerobic zone.
The aerobic zone is our more steady state cardio conditioning (consistent activity for about 2 minutes +). When working in this energy zone, your heart rate should be between about 65%-75% of your max heart rate.
In this zone, you work on improving the strength of your heart and your body’s oxygen delivery systems so that your cells can work to their full capacity.
You don’t need to run for hours to improve your aerobic conditioning.
For example, at the end of your workout, you could do two minutes of battling ropes with less than two minutes of rest between rounds for 5 rounds.
You could do constant locomotion (jogging, shuffling, high knees, skipping) for five minutes. (Trust me your heart rate gets up.)
Or if you do want to dedicate a whole day to conditioning, maybe you do jog, bike or walk slowly for 30 minutes to one hour. It can even be a leisure activity that you use as active rest.
However you decide though to get in your aerobic conditioning make sure that you do in fact do it. Too often people skip this step and go straight to the sprints.
And while I personally prefer sprints and such to longer bouts of cardio, those longer bouts of cardio ARE super important for athletes at all levels.
The next energy system is where we encounter the lactic threshold and start to tap into our anaerobic energy systems. It is called the lactic anaerobic.
Anaerobic energy systems supply us with energy for only short bouts of high intensity activity. Our anaerobic systems supply us with energy through chemical reactions that don’t require oxygen whereas the aerobic system does require oxygen.
This energy system, in which our heart rate is between 80-85% of our max, is best worked when we do a more intense bout of cardio for about 30 seconds to 90 seconds.
It is believed that if you have a higher lactic threshold, you can continue at a higher intensity for longer before tiring, which can be super important for athletes in high intensity endurance sports.
But even if you aren’t an athlete, it is important to include conditioning for this system because it improves our work capacity. The harder and longer we can work before enough lactic acid builds up to fatigue our muscles the more we can get out of some of our very intense workouts!
The third system, the alactic system, is also an anaerobic system.
When working our alactic system our heart rate should be between 86-90% of our max heart rate. To work this system it is best to do any activity that is high intensity and can fatigue you in about 8-12 seconds.
We use tsunamis, sprints and Versa Climber a lot when doing conditioning for this energy zone.
The key here is to pick something that truly fatigues you in 8-12 seconds.
And this zone…well you need to EARN this zone. If you are a beginner, don’t start with this.
Beginners or even athletes who have taken time off may want to spend at least a month doing only aerobic conditioning on top of their strength training.
Once you’ve built up your aerobic base, then move into some lactic anaerobic conditioning. After a few weeks to even a couple of months of training in both, then add in alactic training.
You need to make yourself EARN the next stage of training. You also need to make sure that all systems are strong. If you only do 30-90 second conditioning, you really aren’t making yourself as fit or as strong as you could be.
You need to do all three levels of conditioning if you want to reach your full potential.
NEXT you need to figure in on which days you are going to include what type of training. If you train only three times a week, at the end of your strength training you may want to add one day of level one or aerobic conditioning, one day at level 2 (lactic) and one day at level 3 (alactic).
If you train five days a week, you don’t want to include more than two days of level 3 conditioning and you want to make sure to vary the days so that after a hard day of conditioning you get an easier day of conditioning.
Don’t make yourself train at the same intensity day in and day out! It won’t get you near the results that fluctuations in training intensities will!
And on top of planning out on which days you are going to do what level of conditioning, you must also consider REST intervals.
Each energy system’s requirements are slightly different, but to simplify….
Aerobic – Beginners can have about equal rest to work. Advanced try to make there be as little rest as possible
Anaerobic Systems (lactic and alactic) – Beginners can have about 3 to 5 times rest to work. So if you are a beginner and work for one minute (lactic), you will need between 3-5 minutes of rest. You want to try to be close to fully recovered when you go again. As you become more advanced you can cut your rest down. You may do something like 10 seconds of work (alactic), 20 seconds of rest as you become more advanced.
Make sure that you plan out how much rest you are giving yourself because rest can be a great way to PROGRESS yourself. It is another option not as frequently used as upping the number of rounds that you do. (But it actually may be even MORE beneficial in many cases!)
So even though I don’t love cardio, I do in fact include conditioning in my workouts and I DO make sure to work all three systems.
Now the question is…Do you? What do you consider when planning out your cardio conditioning?
So the glute bridge is one of my favorite moves. It can be a good part of any warm up or a great strength exercise by itself.
It is also a great way to mix up your hip hinge workouts from vertical to horizontal! It is also incredibly hard for many people to keep their core tight enough so that they don’t feel this in their low backs, but instead feel it in their butts.
Really really focus on drawing your belly button in toward your spine when doing this move so you DON’T feel it in your low back!
So the basic glute bridge is done on the ground. You should place your feet about hip width apart and bend your knees bringing your heels in close enough that you can touch them with your finger tips.
You then squeeze your butt cheeks and raise your hips as high up as you can. You should basically be on your shoulders and heels when you drive up. You should actively squeeze your belly button in toward your spine and squeeze your glutes.
Make sure that you aren’t just simply pushing back into your shoulders off of your heels. You actually want to drive straight up and while you are pushing through your heels you want to actually think about driving your shins forward.
You should feel this move in your glutes and a bit in your hamstrings NOT in your low back.
You can also do this move with one leg raised. I like to do it with one leg off the ground with the knee bent to 90 degrees and the foot flexed. I focus on getting my hips up just as high as they were with two legs. Try to also not let your hips rotate!
Another variation that I like of the basic glute bridge is the bridge on the power wheel.
Basically the same as the glute bridge on the ground EXCEPT you have to really drive your feet straight down into the ground and squeeze your butt and core or you are going to wobble over or the wheel will run off.
Many people also feel this move a lot more in their hamstrings.
This variation is a great way to advance the traditional glute bridge and make it into a great part of your workout.
To make this move harder, you can actually roll the wheel out and then back in toward your butt. The key though is to NOT drop your hips even as your roll out.
A great intermediate move if the power wheel is just a bit too hard especially moving it in and out is the glute bridge on the sliders.
Put your heels on the sliders and raise up into a glute bridge. Just like with the power wheel, straighten the legs out keeping the hips high and then bring the heels back in so that you are in the basic glute bridge position. Repeat slowly and make sure to keep your core tight so that your low back doesn’t feel this move.
The last glute bridge variation that I really like to use is a great strength move. A beginner can do this with only their back on the bench and feet on the ground. To make it more advanced, you can do it with your back on a bench and your feet up on a bench as well (or your back on the ground and feet up). To make that harder, do it with only one leg.
The hardest variation actually returns you to the position with your back on the bench and feet on the ground. You can add weight to this position by laying a barbell across your hips.
Actually you can almost weight down any position to make it harder EXCEPT the power wheel. If you advance from this move, you could weight down the one-leg variation.
But make sure that when you weight down the glute bridge, YOU DON’T FEEL IT IN YOUR LOW BACK.
Focus on really keeping the core tight by “drawing in” your belly button toward your spine!
So if you want a bootilicious (aka perky, toned) butt, try some of these moves. They will also really help up your deadlift numbers if you are looking to get your lift numbers higher!
What’s your favorite glute bridge variation?
When we get it into our head that we want something, we usually want it NOW!
Not in two weeks, two months or two years…NOW!
It’s like we become a child again and our head is screaming “NOW!” “NOW!” “NOW!”….”I WANT IT NOW!”
Sorry….But you CAN’T HAVE IT NOW!
Success takes time. And sometimes pushing harder, faster WON’T get you there any quicker.
Sometimes pushing harder, faster actually hinders your progress.
At the same time, you can’t just sit back and wait for things to happen.
If you want to get stronger, perform better, lose weight, tone up or rehab an injury, you’ve got to give it your all WITHOUT becoming impatient (AKA pushing too hard too fast).
Two things I’ve found that have help me become more patient about accomplishing fitness goals are setting up a timeline and setting short-term goals.
When I say “setting up timelines” I mean that I outline how long it will realistically take to accomplish my goal and then I outline how much time I will spend potentially “testing” out ways to get there.
Let’s face it, if you want to lift a ton more weight or even lose a ton of weight, it isn’t going to take a month…it may even take a year. You’ve got to figure out a realistic timeframe in which to accomplish your goal.
And realistic means looking at what obstacles are in the way that may slow things down – it means planning out your timeframe based on the fact that there may be unforeseen plateaus!
Granted you can’t account for all setbacks, but the more you plan in a little extra time to deal with them, the more likely you will be to hit your goal on time if not early (which will make you very very happy…trust me!).
And setbacks can come in all forms. Unless you’ve had to work toward your specific goal before and already have a program in place, you are probably going to have to experiment a bit even if your friend/coach gives you a program that has worked for them and people they’ve known before.
Let’s face the facts…just because a program has worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. So how long do you potentially “waste” on a program that doesn’t work before switching (especially if you have a deadline to hit!)?
My rule of thumb is…”Give it 30 days.”
You’ve got to give a program just a bit of time. I know 30 days seems like an eternity when you want something NOW, but one week, or even two weeks, doesn’t really give you enough proof as to whether or not something really works.
Give it 30 days and then assess. Did you make any progress? What seemed to help? What didn’t?
THEN make changes!
If you learned something from that 30 days, then it isn’t really wasted time now is it!?!
Because if you learn more about what works for you to accomplish your goal, then you will always have that knowledge if you need to get back there or even build further!
If you never experiment and…for example…just starve yourself to lose the weight, you didn’t really learn about what it takes to truly lose the weight and keep it off (and you definitely aren’t any healthier!).
Anyway, the point is you have to figure that a goal you’ve never set out to accomplish before is going to take some extra time because first you have to establish a program!
So if you’ve set a realistic timeframe, you must have accounted for a bit of experimentation on top of setbacks such as unforeseen cheat days or sickness.
But by setting a realistic timeframe you won’t stress out about having to be at your goal NOW because you know exactly when it SHOULD be achieved! (Not to mention having a timeframe will help keep you on track when you want to cheat because you know you have a deadline.)
But once you have that timeline, the best way to keep yourself to that goal is to set short-term goals within that timeframe.
When we want something NOW, we usually overlook all the progress we are making because all we can focus on is the end goal, which in terms makes us upset and sometimes even depressed about the fact that we aren’t there yet.
So how do you get yourself to stay positive and not overwhelmed by the fact that you aren’t there yet?
You set shorter goals that allow you to see all the progress you are making toward you goal!
Having something to accomplish each week, each month, will keep you on track and even positive about your progress to a goal that will take you maybe even a year or longer to accomplish.
These goals can range from weekly weigh ins or performance measures to simply sticking to a meal plan or workout assigned for that day.
The point is that when you accomplish them they make you feel like you are getting closer to your goal. Accomplishing these short-term goals should provide you with confidence and keep you positive and motivated.
If you are confident, positive, motivated and feel like you are moving forward, even if it is small steps, you are going to be WAY more likely to stay the course no matter how long it takes.
So if you’ve been struggling to stay positive and accomplish your big goal, take time today to figure out what is a realistic timeframe to accomplish it. Then set out some mini goals that will keep you accountable each day, each week, each month…whatever works for you!
NOTE: You will also have to outline a clear program with a progression toward you goal based on your timeframe, but that is a different post!