1. Take the stairs!
It probably gets said a lot and you’ve probably heard it before but here is your friendly reminder that if you have the option… take the stairs! When Freeland and I traveled to KC last month, I had him strapped to my front in a carrier and a diaper bag back pack on back but we took advantage of all the empty staircases throughout the airport!
2. Warm up before a workout with circle resistance bands!
Side to side steps, front to back, etc. When we strength train, there is a neuromuscular element to it. Prior to muscle fibers getting bigger, muscle fibers have to “learn” to fire. The more that “turn on” and the faster they “turn on” the stronger you get (thank you exercise physiology class – it was my favorite college course).
That being said, if the muscles aren’t good at “turning on”, other muscles will end up helping take the load – which is why many people feel exercises in their quadriceps rather then their glutes when doing exercises. That’s why its important to warm up our glutes before we do leg exercises…it reminds them, so to speak, to work! Here’s an example!
I use Hope Fitness Bands. Use code STEPSBETWEEN for 15% off!
3. Always add incline to a treadmill!
Here’s a throwback to when I coached running classes but it’s true for non-runners too. Adding .5 to 1% incline on a treadmill will help mimic actual terrain and force your glutes to work/ assist your walk or run.
4. On that note…go for a hike!
Or find a hill. I know we don’t all have the pleasure of living in Colorado or Arizona or Washington but I’ve never lived in a place that didn’t have any inclined terrain. Better yet, take a hike with the family and enjoy a view. Take the path of resistance, your glutes will thank you!
5. Learn proper form (from people who are certified to give form advice).
Glute bridges (or hip raises) are an easy exercise to add to any gym or home routine. But if you aren’t doing them right you won’t be getting the full benefit (not to mention can be causing back pain).
I love @achievefitnessboston videos on glute bridges! Their entire Instagram is full of form videos and I’ve learned so much!
6. Don’t forget your back and hammies!
No muscle ever works in 100% isolation. There will always be the prime mover and all the muscles that assist! You butt is the same. For one, it’s not just one single muscle so it needs to be challenged in different ways (bands are great for this) but you also can’t forget about your back and hamstrings since they are all connected!
I love this set of back friendly glute exercises from Girls Gone Strong!
7. Be a work in progress!
Don’t fall for those Pinterest workouts that claim to change your body shape in 2-weeks! A solid program and consistency are always what it takes to see real change. Make your goal strength and injury prevention and set your sites on long term health, not just an aesthetic, and you’ll be happy to see see results in the long run!