For the next few days I’m going to post a 15 min Booty Burner focussing on strengthening the Glutes.
The glutes are our power house muscle that are responsible for movement of the hip and thigh and play an important role in any running movement. The stronger these are the more power, speed and control we have in our sporting movements and of course, we become less prone to gaining those niggles or injuries.
So our first workout:
15 reps of all 4 exercises in the video done 3, 4 or 5 times depending on your level.
Straight leg pulses
Hip circles forwards AND backwards
Let’s cut to the chase, without proper form, ANY EXERCISE can be a waste of your valuable time and sometimes even dangerous! With that said, I would like to immediately discuss HOW to do a Push-Up properly…trust me on this.
For the most part, everyone knows the basics when it comes to doing a push-up. Now, form can certainly change from one individual to the next, but most people can point out a good looking push-up from a poor looking one. Let’s quickly touch on the most important variables in terms of set up and muscle function.Getting into a high plank position is the first major criteria. The body must create a straight line from the head to the feet and the arms should be vertical with the hands directly below the shoulders. Hand width can be altered but most people will be around shoulder width apart or slightly wider.
The feet should be close together with the heels touching together for optimal performance. Again, this is a description of a strict push-up. We will get into variations later on where this stance will be altered. As you begin to descend, lowering yourchest, torso and hips towards the floor, the straight line you’ve created should not break. The depth of the push-up can be adjusted based on your ability and range of motion but for peak performance, the chest should be within one fist of touching the floor.
Let’s discuss how the muscles should be responding to all of this. From the beginning, the muscles in your chest, shoulders, triceps, abdominals, gluteus and quadriceps should all be firing – activated! Oh yeah, let’s clear one thing up here: The push- up is not just an upper body exercise.
The Push-Up is one of the truest FULL BODY exercises out there…
Its popularity over the years has never wavered. If done properly, you should feel extreme tightness in your back muscles (lattisimus dorsi and rhomboids), hips and core from locking the torso (the gluteus & abs), the thighs (quads & hamstrings) and squeezing the heels together (inner thighs & calves).This focus alone will add several repetitions to your set because you are delivering more POWER where you’re strongest.
Okay, so you’re at the bottom of the movement and the one thing you are thinking is….PUSH THE FLOOR AWAY. Yes, imagine you are pushing the floor away from your body. This will actually give you more power and produce better results. As far as breathing is concerned, there are different ways to approach this basedon where you are in your set. First of all, breathing is vital. We all require oxygen to the muscles obviously. However, too much heavy breathing can lead to a loss of power with maximum effort because your body loses the “tightness.”This tightness is especially critical as you fatigue and begin to break form. So in this situation, shallow breathing is recommended while trying to keep your abs and hips locked. Breathe in as you descend towards the floor whilst exhaling as you push the floor away. Another great method is to save your breathing while you pause at the top. This will serve two purposes, keeping your oxygen levels where they need to be and allowing you to stay super tight during the exercise.
Over the course of the coming weeks the objective is to build you all into a push up machine! Now for those of you who are thinking no way man it’s impossible I don’t have the strength that’s why we are going to programme it such that we will build it up slowly from the bottom up.
Before starting the Push-Up Challenge, it would certainly benefit you to do the following exercise for approximately two weeks before we move onto the 2nd phase before the final stage. These movements directly affect force production with the push-up and will help forge a stronger torso very quickly.
Low Planks – The low plank is basically holding a static push-up position but you’re on your forearms/elbows creating a stronger foundation. With more surface area on the floor, you create more stability and can better focus on all the muscles involved in holding a straight line. Think about shallow breaths, tight glutes, tight abs, locked quads, neutral spine and crush those lats. The entire body must remain super tight. Hold this for 20, 30, up to 60 seconds or more and do 3-5 sets. This can be done daily but every other day would also be great. Spend five days doing these low planks.