Friday 151218

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
3 Rope climbs
15 Toes to bar
30 Box jump, 24″(20″)

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Oh that's just Chloe working her way towards a HUGE PR!!

Oh that’s just Chloe working her way towards a HUGE PR!!

MY GLUTES AREN’T “ON”!! – Anna Mattson w/ article from Cassie Dionne of Breaking Muscle

Our glutes are a huge group of muscles that we can thank for our ability to walk upright.  They help us fight gravity from pulling us forward, they keep our Lumbar spine (lower back safe), and help us look good in shorts.  Our lifestyle of sitting a majority of the time and general lack of awareness of how to fire our glutes, leads to those muscles weakening and not performing their function as efficiently.  With the increased incidence of athletes complaining about lower back pain, I thought these would be pertinent along with some solid hip mobilization. I now want to reference a great article posted by Breaking Muscle (see full article here ) 

Why aren’t my glutes firing?

There are many potential reasons, but I am going to keep it simple and give you just two. The first and most common reason people suffer from underactive glutes or “glute amnesia” is due to lifestyle. Even when people train hard every day, if they spend the majority of the remainder of the day sitting down, then they are simply not using their glutes. And remember the old saying – if you don’t use it, you lose it.  Unfortunately, this is just what happens with your glutes. 

Another common reason I see glutes that aren’t working properly is due to injury. Often an injury happens that changes the mechanics and motor programming of a person’s body. This can lead to some muscle groups becoming overactive, while others become underactive (think: compensation). This can alter things for a long time without the person even knowing it. 

How can I turn these bad boys on?

All of these exercises, as they state in the article, can be performed before a workout OR best yet, while you are resting between sets of heavy lifting.

The Modified Clamshell

I’m sure you’ve seen the clamshell before. It is a fan-fave when it comes to glute activation and glute med strengthening. However, at our studio we don’t love how this movement is typically taught. 

Modified clamshell top knee on the ground
Modified clamshell – top knee off the ground
We’ve found the traditional way the clamshell is taught ends up leading to the athletes overusing their hip flexors and not feeling the exercise where they should. In other words, it usually just cements in already poor movement patterns. This is why we always teach a modified version.
To do this modified clamshell:
  1. Lie on your side with your head resting comfortably. 
  2. Your bottom leg should be straight, with your top hip bent up to ninety degrees and your top foot resting behind your bottom knee. Your hips should be forward, and should remain in this forward position throughout the entire movement to come.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and lift your knee off the ground, keeping your top foot rested on your bottom knee (make sure your hips don’t roll back because they most certainly will try to do so).
  4. You should feel this exercise approximately where your jeans pocket would be. If you feel it here, you’re doing it right!

The Glute Bridge

This is a great, functional exercise, and one I have written about in the past. The basic glute bridge is simple, just lay on your back with your knees bent, lifting your hips in the air. This is an excellent starting point, but most of you will quickly need to move on to more challenging variations to really get your glutes fired up. Check out my two favorites:
The Cook Bridge/Cook Hip Lift – Developed by physical therapist Gray Cook, this exercise eliminates lumbar spine movement, forcing the work to happen at the glutes. To do this movement:
  1. Get into the bridge position. 
  2. Place a tennis ball below your bottom rib on one side, and hug the same knee to your chest, pinning the ball down with your thigh. 
  3. Holding onto this position, lift your hips in the air, and repeat. You’ve just done the Cook Bridge!

Cook bridge

Glute Bridge With March – This one forces you to engage all of your stabilizer muscles. To do the glute bridge with march:
  1. Get in to the bridge position and lift your hips in the air. 
  2. At this top position, and without allowing any movement at your hips, slowly lift one leg off the ground and hold for two seconds. 
  3. Put it down and lift the opposite leg. 
  4. Repeat this about twenty times, ensuring your hips remain stable throughout the entire exercise.

Glute bridge with march

Mini Band Walks

Mini bands are becoming more popular and with good reason. They are a great way to get the glutes geared up for a workout. The best way to do them? Put the mini band around your feet – yes, your feet – and walk laterally, trying to move your upper body as little as possible. This is usually a pretty fail-safe way of getting a burn in that pocket muscle.
glutes, glute exercises, activation, motor patterns, clamshell, glute bridge
Mini band walks

Slider Reverse Lunge

The slider reverse lunge is simple to perform and doesn’t need much in the way of instructions. Simply grab a Valslide, or a similar tool that will allow you to move smoothly across the ground. Put the slide under one foot, and use that foot to slide into a reverse lunge, and then return to standing. Try doing this exercise after one of the ones above, and just wait until you feel the burn!


  • We have a Free Intro Class at 8am on Saturday for all of your friends that are interested in checking us out!
  • Molly is back with Yoga THIS SUNDAY @ 8am


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