Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tone it Tuesdays: 3 Moves to Get the Most Out of Your Booty

Jenna Klane Nelson of the Training Fix
shows us the 3 staple exercises needed
to master those glutes.
Photo Courtesy of: Jess McDougall
I am excited to feature  Jenna Klane Nelson, personal trainer and owner of the Training Fix in Easton, MA for this week's Tone it Tuesdays post. Jenna is the perfect person to offer tips for safe and effective workouts, as she specializes in posture and movement assessment.

At her training studio, the Training Fix, Jenna  performs postural analysis and functional movement screenings for each new client in order to understand each person's postural behavior and functionality. By correctly finding where the problems lie, Jenna is able to effectively create a unique program for each client that will help him or her to improve vitality and strength.

I, like Jenna, believe that it is absolutely essential to clean up any faulty movement patterns in order to achieve effective strength training. Contrary to popular belief, strength training is an essential component for  weight-loss, as well as toning the body. While cardio can also assist with the weight-loss process, it only breaks down your body's existing tissue, thus, leaving you with that soft, "skinny fat" booty. It is strength training that actually changes your body's composition, giving you that all over toned look.

Today Jenna will explain why we should master  the fundamentals so that strength training can become a safe and effective part of our daily  lifestyle. She will also share why we should love our booty and share 3 videos featuring the 3 essential moves for getting our glutes toned and poppin'.
The Training Fix
"If I am doing a glute exercise, I better feel it in my glutes.  If I don’t then I need to clean it up and get it right.  I think the glutes are big, beautiful muscle.  Mine have been large since I was about 5 years old.  I used to hate it !!! Once I realized they weren't going anywhere I decided to embrace it and make them as nice as I could.  I love doing glute work.  For starters, most of the major lifts that work the glutes really work your entire body ( squats, lunges, dead-lifts, step ups, thrusters) .  Killing two birds ( or ten) with one stone is my kind of workout.   The biggest thing I have noticed with clients over the years is that they weren't really feeling their glutes when they should.  Bottom line is if you don’t feel it, its not turning on… and that's a problem. We are all created differently and sometimes our posture creates compensations in how we perform our lifts.  For myself I am very mobile in my mid and low back.  For years I thought I had great hip extension when I really broke down the movement I was doing the lift from my back and not from my glutes.  That is why I wasn't feeling my glutes.  Seems obvious, but its not always that easy to figure out when you are working out".

"True hip extension gets the glutes to activate to their fullest potential. Strong glutes are a bonus for both men and women for a few reasons:

1. Strong glutes can help eliminate low back pain.
2. Strong , shapely glutes are nice to look at :) better than saggy , weak glutes.
3. When you really get your glutes to engage you will suddenly develop this power in your lifts that you were never capable of before".

"Here are 3 staple exercises we do at The Training Fix that require full hip extension to be done correctly. I have made videos of myself doing each one with both the proper and faulty technique".

1. Hip Thruster

"For the hip thruster you will start with your head and shoulders on a bench.  Your feet will be on the floor directly under your knees.  Driving through your heels you will lift your hips up using your glutes. In the finished position you should have a straight line from your shoulder to your hip to your knee.  The video on top shows me with poor form and the video on the bottom is with the correct technique".
"You want to make sure that you get your hips up high enough so that you get that straight line throughout the body, but you want to make sure you get it by using your glutes and not your low back.  You also want to make sure that you don’t let your rib cage flare up into the air.  I am very mobile through my mid back and would naturally love to do this lift by letting my rib cage lift way up.  It almost create a rainbow shape throughout the torso.  This exercise is very challenging for me and I feel my glutes plenty by just using bodyweight.  Work your way up to 3 rounds of 20 repetitions and at then you can consider loading it".
Hip Thruster Video

2. Step Ups

"Step Ups are such a simple and highly effective exercise. The problem is I find that most people leave out some of the key elements that make it so good for you.  First off you want to make sure the foot of the stabilizing leg is fully on the step.  Keep it planted and drive trough that heel as you step up.  Make sure to keep a nice, tall spine throughout the movement.  When you get to the top you want to make sure that you fully extend the hip of the stabilizing leg.  It should be a straight line from the shoulder, to the hip, to the ankle.  In this video the video on the left shows me doing this with good technique and the video on the right shows the faulty patterns I discussed above".

3. Planks

"Planks ? Not many people would think of planks as a glute exercise.  Ultimately they would be considered a “core” exercise, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work the glutes as well.  If you do these with good technique at the end of a good workout, you can’t tell me that you don’t feel your glutes.  When doing a plank your elbows should be directly under your shoulders, your legs should be straight out with the knees fully extended.  Your butt should NOT be up in the air. You should have a straight line from your shoulder to your hip.  Take a look at the video below to see two videos comparing good and bad technique. I think its pretty obvious but the top video is clearly being done incorrectly".

"So, whether its for function, for looks, for strength, or for power. You can’t lose by getting the most out of your glutes in the gym".

Thanks Jenna for the booty tips! I will be sure to incorporate these movements into my schedule. And to make sure that I really work on my least favorite exercise, the plank, I have created a 30 day plank challenge:

Create a booty-poppin Tuesday everyone! Below is your daily dose of inspiration inspired by Jenna and her adorable son Henry (who you may remember from Wordless Wednesdays).

Jenna and her son, Henry
Summer 2013

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