Fun and Fitness: Getting those glutes going
The majority of women yearn for great glutes. Some are born with them and are the envy of all other women who stare at their asses in agonized jealousy. Others feel they don't quite “measure up” and believe all hope is lost. In either case, there is always opportunity for improvement.
If your glutes have a hard time getting involved in exercises, performing more exercises won't solve the problem. The majority of glute exercises are amongst the most effective thigh building exercises (e.g. squats, lunges, leg presses, etc.). You've got to properly target your training so that your glutes get more work than your thighs.
You must consciously squeeze your glutes hard while doing your exercises. If you're sitting in a chair reading this article, clench your glutes as hard as you can. Feel the squeeze? This is what you need to strive for while doing glute exercises.
For example, when you lunge, squeeze the glute hard while you're pushing up. This will help activate the glute muscle by forcing it's fibers to do more work rather than just “going through the motions.” Glute specific training requires you to push with your heels. More tension will go through the back of your thighs and to your glutes. When lunging, try to raise your toes of your front foot off the ground. This will in turn send more tension to the glutes making them work harder. When doing leg presses you can focus on the glutes by placing your heels on the top edge of the face-plate. For squats, simply raise your toes in your shoes to achieve a similar effect. Visualize yourself sitting back when you're doing your glute exercises.
For example, when lunging, don't let your torso angle forward while you're performing the movement. This will throw more tension onto the quads. Again, visualize sitting back and your movements will achieve the heel effect by forcing the glutes to perform more work. The same can be said for squats. If you lean too far forward while squatting, the majority of the tension will be thrown on the quads. You want to concentrate on maintaining an upright torso, which will turn the squat into a great glute builder.
Furthermore, pre-exhaust training is an advanced technique used to build up those reluctant muscles. The idea involves using an exercise that works ONLY the targeted muscle. Then, without rest in between, you immediately follow that exercise with another compound exercise that works the targeted muscle AND several other muscles. You're essentially exhausting the target muscle, then using another exercise that utilizes other muscles to help push that already pre-exhausted target muscle harder.
Yes, I know it sounds like a confusing tongue twister. E-mail me or ask one of your Fitness Centre's trainers to get specific instructions on pre-exhausting exercises and how to go about them properly.