Do you have lower back pain? For most of us, the reason we get lower back pain is from too much sitting and being inactive. It gets better when we get more active, and using more muscles, but sometimes that isn’t enough. So what do we do to get rid of that literal pain in the back, and prevent it from leading to other pains and muscle imbalances? Head to World Health Edmonton and work on those glutes (these are your butt muscles)! Here are a couple exercises that are not only great for your butt, but for your overall body strength!
Deadlift: Not just for powerlifters, everyone can find a benefit with this exercise. While it’s great for lower body strength and power (glutes included) it can be really great to help correct posture! There are many different versions that you can play around with as you become more experienced, but as a beginner, stick with the traditional deadlift, which includes more of a knee bend so the most muscles get used. Keys to this exercise:
- Keep the back nice and flat the entire time, even when you touch the weight to the ground between reps. This means keeping your lats engaged. Try to squeeze the shoulder blades together to do this as well as puffing the chest out.
- Keep the bar as close to the body as possible by moving the bar up your legs the entire way. This requires less effort, keeps your form better and allows you to lift heavier!
- USE THOSE GLUTES! Especially at the top of the lift. Pretend you have a penny between your butt cheeks that you want to squeeze as hard as you can while pushing the bar slightly with your hips.
- Pictures don’t really do this exercise justice, so if you’re still not sure how to execute this lift, please ask a personal trainer at World Health!
Squat: Along with a deadlift, this should be one of your main lifts, as it is another compound exercise. It is really great for your legs and glutes, and depending on what style you are doing/how you are holding the weight, can work your back in different ways as well. Let’s stick to a simple goblet squat for now, where the weight is loaded in front of your chest. Keys to this exercise:
- Knees follow your toes! Knee pain from squats come from misaligned joints, so if you feel pain while doing squats, push those knees out!
- Keep your back flat! Just like the deadlift, pinch those shoudler blades together and puff the chest to stop the shoulders from rounding.
- Get as low as you can without compromising your form! The lower you go, more of the muscle you’ll use, which means a more effective work out.
- At the top of the motion, hold for at least 2 seconds before you drop back down to the ground. This will force your glutes to work instead of relying on your hamstrings.
- Take your time and focus on that “squeeze”. Once you learn this feeling, and can replicate it no problem, every lift for your lower body will become easier, your glutes will become stronger and they will look better, too!