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Rump Shaker

“All I want to do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom, and a poom-poom, just shake ya rump.” this-is-why-we-squat

What do we want more than almost anything? To have a nice rear. It’s on the top of the list for most fitness enthusiasts. Hell, we all wanna look good walkin’ away.

There’s more to having a perfect bum than you realize.

Your glutes are the biggest and most important muscle you have – they are the cornerstone of our bodies. The harder you work your glutes and the more you build them, the more it will benefit your body. Your glutes help keep your hips and entire body in alignment and allow good posture.

Your glutes are instrumental in rotating your hips and legs while supporting your pelvis during everyday movements and exercise. If your glutes aren’t strong enough, your spine has to over-compensate (hence the back pain). In addition, weak glutes cause weaknesses in your knees – causing them to turn inward when landing on the ground and placing additional pressure on your kneecaps. This can also affect your IT band – the ligament that runs outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin.

The dilemma is in the modern day scenario, we are often sitting so much on our rears we are not activating them enough and they lose strength. Without active, strong glutes, we experience an imbalance in the front vs. back side of our body. This leaves the hip flexors overactive and tight and pulls your pelvis forward.

What to do, what to do….

Work ‘em. Added bonus – since your glute muscles are so large, working them (as with working other large muscle groups) raises your metabolic rate.

Excellent glute strengthening exercises include:

  • Lunges – do repetitive lunges on one leg, then switch
  • Squats – load up on the weight so your body works harder and go deep for a full extension!
  • Squeezing your glutes when you work out – keep the contraction tight at all times (when you lift up from that squat)
  • Contracting your glutes when you are standing (all those soccer games will pay off exponentially if you work your rear while watching)
  • One-leg exercises (one-leg squats and lunges will work your muscle 1/3 as hard)
  • Bridges – lie on your back and perform double and single leg bridges (squeezing your glutes the entire time you lower and raise)
  • One-leg step-ups onto an elevated surface (step/bench, etc) – squeeze at the top of your raise
  • Bulgarian split squats – put your back toward a weight bench and lift one foot onto the bench behind you and squat
  • Kettlebell swings (again, squeezing tight at the top of the movement)
  • Side walking squats (with a band around your legs) – squat low!

Try these exercises as frequently as possible to help improve the activation of your glute muscles and in turn, see the difference in your post rump shakin’. You’re welcome 😉

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How You Know You Are Getting In Shape

We found this blog post and thought it was fantastic – and oh, so true – so we thoughtWoman-Boxer

we would share it with our loyal readers. Thank you BuzzFeed Life.

Are you feelin’ it?

“23 Things That Inevitably Happen When You Start Getting In Shape”

1. Heavy things now feel so…light.

2. Somehow you’re able to climb flights and flights of stairs without feeling winded.

3. Probably because you feel a lightness akin to moon gravity.

4. None of your clothes fit anymore.

5. You actually crave healthy food.

7. Speaking of food, is it lunch time yet?

8. Your healthy habits are starting to rub off on everyone around you.

9. You sleep good. Soooo good.

10. You realize there are veins you never knew existed.

11. You can actually hear your body talk.

12. The combination of endorphins and confidence results in the best sex of your goddamned life.

13. You’ve never had to deal with this much dirty laundry.

14. Two words: mental clarity.

15. BIGGER AND BETTER POOPS.

16. You get hangovers after one beer.

17. Your new favorite activity (besides working out, obvs): fondling your own muscles in self-satisfaction when you’re bored.

18. Feeling sore is such a surprisingly satisfying feeling.

19. You are now officially a morning person.

20. Fresh air never felt so good.

21. Your new-found addiction to working out has helped you kick all your other vices.

22. Your skin hasn’t looked this good since you were in elementary school.

23. The realization that you’ve reached the threshold where working out is not a chore — you legitimately enjoy it.

It is REALLY worth it to check out the original post – the video/pics make this list even more entertaining: FULL POST

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Go Figure

Leg-Lift-on-BOSU-BallIt’s been a couple of months since I have truly had a good workout post my knee debacle. My biggest concern was what would happen to all that hard work and results I had achieved with my hard core fitness routine?

My schedule went from 5-6 days/week of working out to 2-3 days of PT only. Although both intense, not the same.

I have, once again, become my own science experiment.

So what changed? I slowed down and focused on my form and strengthening specific muscles through contraction and concentrated movements. And my body is just as strong, if not stronger, than pre-surgery.  I actually believe my physique has improved. I’m not saying my cardio has not completed suffered – that is one area I will need to rebuild and is a priority for me going forward; but, I didn’t gain weight, I didn’t lose muscle tone and I didn’t stop eating.

This only confirms what I have learned:

Form Is Everything.
In PT, most of your efforts are based on slow, methodical movements – contracting and building muscle, strengthening and focus. Something I was never a big fan of…moving slow.

Evidence continues to support that form is the utmost important. Without proper form, you will overcompensate with the wrong muscles and support systems. I knew this already – as I am sure most of you have experienced first-hand – without proper form, you are not getting the maximum benefit of the movement (not seeing results) and you are more prone to injury.

One of my major pet peeves throughout the years attending fitness classes was watching most of the class trying so hard to keep up and complete the routine by sacrificing form. Without proper form and movement (“just getting through it”) they were only getting a fraction of the benefit of the workout. Proper form is always more important than speed and is the key to training successfully. Maximum muscle contraction is critical in seeing effects.

I even find myself on the days I don’t have PT, standing a little taller, contracting my body a little tighter and overall, being aware of my movement.

Rest
We have written previous posts about the importance of resting your body: (http://heelstolaces.com/give-rest/).

The body needs time to repair and strengthen. Continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athlete. During recovery, the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place – meaning, this is where you build muscle. In addition, rest helps maintain a better balance between home, work & fitness goals (and healing ACL’s ;-).

Changin’ It Up
Your body can very easily get used to the same routine every week and become very efficient. This adaptation (we’ve used this term in previous blogs!) causes you to burn fewer calories, even when you’re doing the same amount of exercise. The solution is to challenge your body in new ways. Your body will have to work harder as it adjusts to the new activity, which means that you’ll burn more calories when you work out.

So, there you have it. The combination of focused form, rest and change in my workout has truly had a beneficial effect on my body. And surprisingly, had the reverse reaction than what I expected.

 

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