We’ve all been to a gym and in the weight room/area, there are a group of (usually) guys gathered around the bench press, cheering each other on to “bring it” and finish the exercise. Seems like a lot of energy is focused on the upper body, the parts that are mostly seen in the summer, or at least it used to be that way.
By now, I hope you’ve caught the bus that’s leading to “Glute Town”. Haven’t you heard? Lower body weight lifting is “in”. The foundation for so many of our daily movements comes from our lower half – more specifically the rear! If we can’t see it in the mirror, we often neglect those areas. The hamstrings and the gluteus muscles are crucial to strengthen if you want to give yourself the best chance of warding off non-injury knee pain and non-injury back pain. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by paying attention to these muscle groups.
Try some of these exercises below to see what they can do for you. Of course, if you haven’t exercised before, start slow and low and work your way up. If you are a beginner (nothing wrong with that), try using machines first and then adding in free weights and body weight exercises, as you gain some strength.
- Glute Bridge (with or without weight)
- Leg Extension (machine)
- Leg Curl (machine)
- Leg Press (machine)
- Glute Thrusts
- Reverse Lunges, Walking Lunges (with or without weight)
- Goblet Squats, King Squats, Rack Squats, Classic Weighted Squats, Split-leg Squats, Pistol Squats (with or with out TRX assistance – quite difficult)
- Deadlifts (Romanian), Single-leg Deadlifts, Straight-leg Deadlifts, Hex bar Deadlifts
- Kettlebells Swings (not a squat & lift)
- Sled (slow push & pull)
- Step Ups (with or without weight)
These are just some suggestions – not to mention, there are some great physical therapy exercises with bands and balls as well. Try them out and you won’t regret it. Don’t forget to balance out your weight workouts with some lower body moves and consider stretching & foam rolling post workout. Enjoy your workout!
By: Sara Harman