Glutes, Hammies, Core and More

Don’t be fooled by this week’s deceptively easy exercise. No, it doesn’t involve plyometrics or full body weight movements – in fact the key to this exercise is to NOT move and maintain your balance using all of your core muscles and the stabilizer muscles in the spine, hips, knees and ankles. It also isometrically works the glutes, hamstrings and calves – oh my!

Using an exercise or physio ball adds to the difficulty of this move by making you more off balance and thus calling on the core to work much harder than when doing this exercise on a stable surface such as the seat of a chair, sofa, low table or even bottom one or two steps of a staircase.

  • Lying on your back with your heels in the center of a ball (or other elevated surface), press into the heels evenly to lift your hips off the floor, forming somewhat of a reverse bridge. The weight of your body is in your heels (and therefore legs, and glutes) as well as your upper back and shoulder area. Do not lift so high that you come onto your neck.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can up to 45-60 seconds before progressing to a more challenging pose.
  • Try it a minimum of 3X each time you do this. Breathe evenly through your nose and concentrate on contracting the abdominals and glutes throughout.

Notes: Don’t get discouraged if you are unable to maintain your balance for an extended time at first. This exercise trains the nerve to muscle response (called proprioception), imperative to good balance and is something our bodies rapidly adapt to. So the good news is if you keep at this exercise you’ll see vast improvements in a short period of time.

Modifications: Make it Easier: Don’t use a ball; use a hard, stable surface at first. Hold your arms out to side to help with balance and to assist in holding up your body weight. Make it Harder: Use a ball to increase the instability; bring your arms in beside your body; bring your hands together in “prayer position”, arms straight above chest; lift one leg off the ball at a time and hold for 30 seconds each (at this stage you may need to readjust the arm position to the floor).

Originally posted Nov 2012.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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