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Glute Training Workshop

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Small tweaks in exercise form can lead to large increases in gluteal muscle activation, and this increased glute activation will lead to greater growth and development. Most gym goers have to learn these tweaks the hard way over the course of many years. In this post, I hope to expedite your learning curve by teaching you the best ways to perform popular glute exercises.

Squats

When you perform the squat, there are several things you want to keep in mind in order to better target the glutes. First, you want to keep the weight on your heels throughout the duration of the movement. Second, you want to descend deep. Sink as deep as you can possibly go, but avoid severe posterior tilting of the pelvis. This is commonly referred to as “buttwink,” and you want to limit this when deep squatting. Third, you want to keep your knees tracking over the toes throughout the duration of the movement. Don’t allow the knees to cave inward at the bottom of the movement. Finally, you want to make sure that your hips don’t shoot up during the initiation of the concentric phase. Make sure your hips and knees extend at the same rate and that your torso doesn’t become more horizontal as you rise out of the hole in the squat.

Deadlifts

Deadlifts can be an incredible glute exercise, but you must perform the movement properly. First, set your hips at the optimal level prior to liftoff. You don’t want to squat the weight up with low hips, but you also don’t want to stiff-leg deadlift the weight up with high hips. An ideal deadlift set up has the hips lower than the shoulders but higher than the knees. Keep a neutral spinal position; don’t allow for rounding or overarching. Just as in the case of a squat, you don’t want the hips to shoot upward as you begin the lift. Make sure your hips and knees extend at a similar rate. Keep the bar close to the body so that it skims your legs throughout the duration of the movement. When the bar passes the knees, you want to pull the bar into the body while pushing the hips forward and squeezing the glutes to lockout. 

Hip Thrusts

Make sure you hip thrust from the proper bench height. Around 14 to 16 inches is ideal for most lifters. When at the top of the movement, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground, so make sure the feet are set at the appropriate distance away from the buttocks prior to liftoff. Push through the heels and raise the hips as high as possible without overarching the lower back. Make sure that the torso stays flat and the chest doesn’t arch upward. At the top of the movement, squeeze the glutes and pause for a brief moment before descending back to starting position.

Lunges

When lunging, it is important to take ideal step lengths. This is achieved by stepping long enough so that the knees don’t move past the toes during the descent. A slight forward lean of the torso will increase glute activation. Descend as deep as possible without allowing the knee of the rear leg to crash into the ground. When rising upward, don’t let the hips shoot upward; keep the torso angle constant as you perform the initial rising portion of the movement. Push through the heels and make sure the knee stays in line with the foot during each repetition.

Back Extensions

The back extension is actually one of the most effective glute exercises as long as you perform the movement in a particular manner. First, flare the feet outward – you want them at around a 45-degree angle. Second, round the upper back and keep it rounded throughout the duration of the movement. This decreases back muscle activation and shifts more of the burden on to the glutes. When rising upward, push the hips forcefully into the pad. Squeeze the glutes hard at the top of the movement and make sure the spine does not move into extension.

Stronger and Shapelier Glutes

On the surface, these alterations in technique may not seem like they amount to much. However, I have tested the gluteal electromyography activity with numerous clients, and I have learned that these tweaks often double the amount of glute activation elicited during the movement. Experiment with these techniques and watch your glutes grow stronger and shapelier.

The post Glute Training Workshop first appeared on FitnessRX for Women.

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A 25-Minute Core-Stability Workout You Can Do Anywhere

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Your core doesn't just provide strength—it also provides stability. And that's the exact idea behind this week's core stability workout from Sweat with SELF.

Led by athletic trainer Liz Letchford, Ph.D., A.T.C., and coach Paul Wright, this 25-minute core stability workout is the third in a six-part series dedicated to helping you build optimal core strength. Catch the first two videos in this series here and here.

One key component of core stability? A strong transverse abdominis. This deep core muscle, which wraps around your sides and spine is “an intrinsic core stabilizer,” Cori Lefkowith, Orange County, California-based personal trainer previously told SELF. That means it “helps stabilize your core and spine to help your body function correctly.”

Having a stabilized spine is important as it translates into injury prevention at the gym—particularly when you're doing big, compound lifts like squats and deadlifts—and helps in everyday life—like when you're hoisting a bag of groceries or picking up something off the floor, as SELF previously reported.

Moreover, core stability is the foundation for a lot of athletic movements, as NSCA-certified personal trainer Renee Peel previously told SELF. By improving your core stability, you can in turn improve your ability to move efficiently and effectively in a lot of scenarios.

In this workout, you'll fire up your core stabilizers (and, as a bonus, work your shoulders and legs) with moves like bird dogs, bear holds, and downward dogs to planks.

When you're ready, grab a mat and follow along with the video below. Or, if you'd rather work at your own pace, simply keep scrolling for detailed workout directions and GIFs of each move.

Workout Directions

Start with the dynamic warm-up.

After the warm-up, rest for 20 seconds. Then, do the workout. Do each exercise for 60 seconds, taking 10-15 seconds to transition between moves. Repeat the workout 2 more times, resting 20 seconds between each round.

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Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Downward Dog to Plank x 60 seconds

Workout

  • Bird Dog x 60 seconds
  • Leg Lower x 60 seconds
  • Bear Hold x 60 seconds
  • Glute Bridge x 60 seconds
  • Single-Leg Deadlift (repeat on each side) x 60 seconds

*Rest for 20 seconds. Repeat the circuit 2 more times.

The Exercises

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4 Exciting New Workout Features Coming to Apple Fitness+ Very Soon

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If you're a fan of Apple Fitness+ or thinking about becoming one, there will soon be a lot more to like about the virtual workout platform. With new types of classes and new ways to enjoy them (including with your long-lost workout buddies), these features will help you stay active and grounded even as the weather gets a little grayer.

Most of these features will be available starting next week on September 27, but one won't be available until a little later on in the fall. Here are a few of the most exciting new Apple Fitness+ options coming soon.

Pilates

Following in the footsteps and scissor kicks of other major streaming platforms, Fitness+ will soon offer both classical and contemporary Pilates classes starting September 27. And, as with other Fitness+ workouts, other members of the training team will be in the background offering modification options.

Most of the Pilates workouts on Apple Fitness+ will only require a mat, but others will also involve the use of resistance bands. Classes will range in length from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Virtual group classes

If you've been missing group fitness classes during the pandemic, this innovative new feature is for you. Group Workouts will allow you to take Fitness+ streaming classes at the same time as your friends and give you fun, encouraging ways to interact with them during the workout. To start a class with friends, you'll navigate from a group message thread or FaceTime call to the Fitness+ app and start a workout, which will give you the option to invite the others to the same class.

During the workout, you'll be able to see your friends' faces and talk to them via picture-in-picture. You'll also be able to see their progress on the “burn bar” (which estimates how intensely you're working) and when they close their activity rings, but everyone's individual metrics will stay private to them. The Group Workouts feature, coming later in the fall with the new SharePlay update, will support up to 32 people at once. 

Snow season workouts

For most of us, skiing and snowboarding are activities we only get to take part in a few times a year. So, to help you get the most out of those precious few days even in the off-season, Apple Fitness+ is introducing Workouts to Get Ready for Snow Season on September 27. 

The classes are led by champion alpine skier and two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety alongside snowboarder and Fitness+ trainer Anja Garcia. Each workout is designed to help you prep for those snow sports you know and love before you actually hit the slopes. They're geared towards improving balance, strength, and endurance in an effort to ramp up your performance while also preventing injury.

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Guided meditations

Whether you're a total beginner or long-time meditation fan, the new Fitness+ guided Meditation feature will offer a way to get a little bit of calm in your day starting September 27. Led by a group of yoga and cooldown trainers already on the app as well as some newcomers, the meditation sessions will each focus on one of several themes, such as focus, creativity, gratitude, or resilience. You can even filter by theme to find a meditation that will resonate with you that day.

Unlike most other virtual guided meditations, these classes have both audio and video components. Although many people meditate with their eyes closed, Apple found during testing that some people—especially those who are new to meditation—prefer to be able to see their instructor, particularly during the introduction and closing moments of the class. You'll also have the opportunity to perform moving meditations—on a walk or bike ride in the park, for instance—using just the audio with the Apple Watch.

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Betancourt: the Protein Authority

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Deciding which protein is right for you can be challenging. There are so many protein options on the market that you can get a headache just from Googling all the choices, in which case you might need to take an aspirin before getting your protein fix. Fortunately, Betancourt Nutrition has got you covered, with protein options that are strategically formulated for your fitness goals, all with the same high standards of quality and effectiveness that have made Betancourt legendary as your go-to protein authority.

Lean Gainz Reloaded lets you take the meal replacement shake game to the next level – because it’s stacked with high-quality muscle-building ingredients at powerful dosages. These high dosages help promote protein synthesis, protein utilization, and faster recovery to help maintain healthy, strong muscles. 

Lean Gainz Reloaded provides calculated meal replacement macros with lean muscle nutrients. Scientifically engineered and reloaded with the perfectly balanced macros to target lean muscle, Lean Gainz Reloaded is fully supplied with essential nutrients to provide the perfect meal replacement shake. Packed with 44 grams of whey protein, whole food complex carbohydrates, 20 grams of essential amino acids, 9.5 grams of BCAAs, 7.6 grams of L-glutamine, 4.5 grams of L-leucine, C8 premium MCT Oil, and vitamins/minerals, Betancourt’s superior Lean Gainz Reloaded is the perfect protein meal replacement powder for lean muscle growth.

The advanced Whole Food Complex Carbohydrate Complex provides sustained energy and glycogen replenishment while helping to avoid the common insulin spike/crash after intense exercise. Lean Gainz Reloaded utilizes ModCarb®, which is packed with organic oat bran, organic amaranth, organic quinoa, organic buckwheat, organic millet, and organic chia as sources of complex carbohydrates. Lean Gainz Reloaded also includes Carb10®, which is naturally derived from pea starch and is a faster-acting carbohydrate compared to other sources. By serving as a fast-acting carbohydrate, Carb10® is absorbed quickly by the muscles for added fuel when the body needs it most. 

Whey Reloaded is a super lean, high protein low-carbohydrate/sugar post-workout shake. Whey Reloaded is scientifically engineered with premium lean muscle ingredients to support your post-workout and daily shake regimens. Stacked with 24 grams of whey protein, 10 grams of essential amino acids, 5 grams of BCAAs, 5 grams of L-glutamine, 2.5 grams of L-leucine, digestive enzymes, and C8 Premium MCT Oil, Betancourt’s superior Whey Reloaded Protein Powder has got you covered at all angles to promote lean muscle growth.

Mass Reloaded is locked and loaded with top-quality ingredients to target pure size gain. Mass Reloaded is fully stacked with calories, protein and carbohydrates and key nutrients to take your muscle mass goals to new heights. Packed with 1210 calories, 50 grams of Betancourt’s advanced triple-release protein complex, 242 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of essential amino acids, 11.6 grams of BCAAs, 7.3 grams of L-glutamine, 5.6 grams of L-leucine, and a combined 25 vitamins and minerals, Betancourt’s superior Mass Reloaded Protein Powder has got you covered to support serious size growth.

For more information, visit betancourtreloaded.com

The post Betancourt: the Protein Authority appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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