Your everyday butt and hamstring strengthener

How many times have you heard or been told that you need to work on your butt and hamstrings?

As runners we need those muscle groups in order to run well and run fast, right? 😉

There are a plethora of exercises catered to the glute-hamstring complex that it’s honestly hard to keep up! Perhaps you have done one or several of these: the fire hydrant, donkey kick, clamshells, bridge lifts, lunges, deadlifts,  hip hike, frankenstein walk, lunges, squats, leg curls, single leg lifts, TRX hamstring pull-ins, good mornings, kettle bell swings, etc.

Instead of constantly worrying about doing exercises 1 to 5 of your butt/hamstring strengthening program, how about starting with the basics? Like, can you actually use your butt and hamstrings for normal day to day functioning. Most people have lost their ability to do the simplest of movements with their bodies. Seriously! Just try sitting down and standing up from a chair. Can you do it… now, do it properly!

 

 

This is what 99% of you do: instantly bring their knees forward sitting down and standing up. If you don’t think you do ask someone to watch you! This way of sitting and standing messes with your knees, increases hip tension, focuses on quad dominance (which we have too much anyway), and uses very little butt and hamstrings. {Can you hear my KNEES?! I have had that degeneration since I was 15 years old because I was moving incorrectly. I am moving better, 4 years in, today than ever… slowly getting my body back to optimal health}.

 

Get someone to actually look at you do this. Keep your lower leg perpendicular to the ground [NO forward knee movement]. It’s harder than you think. I am still working on it! This simple day to day movement, done properly activates your glute and hamstring muscles while making them stronger! YEAH, you are getting a butt/hammy workout without taking away from your normal day to day routine.

Imagine if you did this every single day, all day long: getting in and out of the car, in and out of bed, up and down from chairs (breakfast, lunch, dinner, school, work, meetings, sport bench, home, couch), etc. You would have a great butt and hammies!

Sure we can make it more complicated than that…. AND we can make it easy. It boils down to: Can you actually do this? Doing it without momentum? Without any aids? You can modify it with extra cushions to make it easier or drop it down to stool height for more of a squat… either way it’s still helping your cause.