If I can help people learn three important lessons for better strength, movement, and performance, I think the following would get people off to such a strong start…..
-Use the ground whenever possible.
-Your lats/core/and glutes are interconnected.
-Functional fitness is about making connections in the body.
It is these three reasons that we keep talking about better core and glute exercises. In all honesty, I consider glute exercises as part of core training especially if you look at how our points are actually linked.
Over the years I have shifted how I cue people. I was once upon a time very “task” oriented.
“Snap your hips”
“Rip the weight from the ground”
“Hinge more, hinge more….”
All of these cues deal with outcomes and now I focus more on what is causing the movement.
Sometimes the “newest” and “best” thing you can create are better cues for people to understand how to use their bodies more efficiently and effectively.
“Grab the ground”
“Pull the handles apart”
You will find all of a sudden by using the RIGHT cues and right intent people get stronger and move better so much faster. Yet, it goes back to using the ground, connections, and finding out how you make tall body connections.
A great example is our emphasis on glute exercises. We know that glute exercises can help our low back problems, be a key in our strength development, and yes, make us look better. Yet, even though people WANT better glute exercises they fall for the trap of just going by “feel”.
Yes, strength training is a physical endeavor, but let me ask you this, when you do most things in life or sport do you “feel” one muscle? I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel your glutes when you are doing exercises, but you shouldn’t let that be your only guide. Let me give you an example.
If I lie on the ground and try to focus on just lifting my hips up I can feel my glutes, but I can also feel some of my low back. That is because my hips don’t extend by themselves, but rather do so because of how I strike and move on the ground. This is the basis of gait analysis.
Yes, most people don’t even think about what causes our body to move. They think of muscles, but not actions! This is important because if we know this simple idea of how and why the hips extend we realize that again, things come from the ground up and are part of very carefully woven connections.
In fact, there has been quite a bit of research to show that sprained ankles tend to cause improper use of the glutes and core during motion. That maybe wouldn’t make sense if we just focused on muscles rather than movements. Such information helps us realize what makes for better glute exercises.
Truly great glute exercises make us do a few things…..
-Engage the ground with our feet.
-Connect our lats/core/and glutes.
-Not only extend our hips but also resist movements from side to side.
That is because when we walk we spend somewhere around 60% of our time on one leg! Our glutes were designed not to just extend our hips but also stabilize our pelvis. Since our pelvis is the foundation of so much you better believe that is important.
Great, so what would this LOOK like? Elizabeth Stacy was kind enough to put together a DVRT flow that addresses the need of real glute exercises. She moves in different patterns, uses single leg stance to connect her foot and core, and by PULLING the Ultimate Sandbag into her body she is gaining stability of her lat/core/and glute system.
The result? She will find out WAY more about her glutes in real life ways than she ever could by just going for a “glute pump”. Simple understanding of the body allows us to create better movements that provide us BETTER results! Try it out and see how you do! You can also check the other video by DVRT Master, Paige Fleischmann, showing a great way to build up to such glute exercises!
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