Bootyvation: The Benefits of Strong Gluteal Muscles

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Booties have been gaining a lot of attention recently. Why they ever lost our attention, I will never understand. However, the importance and benefits of training your derriere go far beyond aesthetics.

Your booty is made up of the bodies largest muscle group. It is comprised of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. These three muscles all work together to stabilise, extend, rotate and abduct the hip.

 

So what are these amazing benefits I’ve been harping on about?

  1. Injury Prevention = Strong glute muscles can reduce your risk of injury in the knees, lower back and hamstrings. Weak glute muscles can lead to an imbalance in the hip. When your booty muscles aren’t strong enough other muscles which are not as well suited for the job take over which can lead to injuries and pulled muscles.
  2. Improved Athletic Performance = Our glute muscles are essential in virtually all sports (as well as in the gym). Strong booty muscles will make you faster, more agile and help you produce more explosive movements. Basically strong glute muscles will help you train at your highest capacity
  3. It looks good = Looking good means feeling good. Just think about how much better your booty will look in those yoga pants ;). Fellas don’t be selfish, girls like booty too.

Jay’s Favourite Booty Activating Exercises 

  1. Interval Sprints
  2. Sumo Deadlift
  3. Glute Bridge
  4. Banded glute kickback
  5. Squats (Must be below parallel in order to activate your glute muscles)
  6. Single leg, leg press (feet positioned high)
  7. Walking lunges (make sure you take long strides as this places emphasis on your glutes)
  8. Step ups

Seriously guys don’t skip leg day

Love

Jay xx

You vs The Scale: Different Ways of Measuring Progress

fullsizerenderWhen it comes to achieving your fitness goals, keeping track of your progress is essential. Doing this lets us know whether or not our fitness plans/workouts and our diets are working.

Studies have also shown that those who track their progress are more likely to stick to their fitness routines compared to those that don’t.

One of the preferred methods of tracking progress has been to track weight. While this is generally a good indicator of progress, it does have the potential to be deceiving, especially if you exercise regularly.

Exercise changes our body composition and increases our body’s lean muscle mass which means that you can actually gain weight but lose inches. If you focus solely on how much you weigh, such an outcome may be disheartening and make you feel like giving up on your overall goal. This was something I experienced when I started my fitness journey. In the picture on the left I was at a very unhealthy stage of my life. I exercised only occasionally and my diet consisted mostly of junk food. At that point in time I weighed between 63-65 Kg. The centre picture was my first fitness competition it involved 16 weeks of intense training and a restrictive diet. This is the leanest I have ever been. My stage weight was 68 kg. The picture on the right was taken last week and reflects my current shape.  Currently I exercise regularly but take a flexible approach to dieting. In this picture I weigh 78 kg. If I only used my weight to track my progress it would appear that I wasn’t making any. So here are 3 alternative ways to track progress other than jumping on the scale.

  1. Progress pictures = We see ourselves everyday and so it may be hard for us to see the changes that our bodies go through over time. Taking pictures and comparing them can be a good indicator as to whether or not your fitness routine and diet are working for us. They can also help us notice the changes in our bodies that we might not even have known were happening.
  2. Improved Strength and Endurance = Progress can be seen through improved strength. If you manage to perform an exercise at a heavier weight than before or you can perform more reps than before. Maybe you had a workout plan and you struggled to get through it and now you’re able to get through it a lot easier. Progress can also be seen through improved recovery time.
  3. How your clothes fit = If your clothes fit better or you’ve gone down a size. Our clothes can be a much more accurate indicator of fatloss than the scale, since our weight can fluctuate  due to fluid shifts.

 

5 Reasons You Should Regularly Train Your Core

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It is becoming increasingly well-known that abdominal exercises will not lead to the six-pack that so many desire.

In fact having visible abs comes down to low body fat percentage as opposed to having strong abdominal muscles.

I have heard countless times from people that despite not training their core they have a visible six pack as a result of performing other exercises with proper form such as squats. However, your core is your body’s powerhouse, which in my opinion makes it the most important part of your body. Ensuring you have a strong core isn’t just about looking good naked, there are several other benefits. So why would you neglect training it?

5 benefits of strong core muscles:

  1. It helps improve sports performance: in order to produce force to play sports such as soccer or tennis or to take part in activities such as running your spine will have to be neutral and your core stabilised.
  2. Prevents lower back pain: Maintaining a straight spine will become a subconscious reflex over time which will make you more mindful when performing every day tasks such as lifting heavy objects
  3. Improves your posture: Strong core muscles can aid in improving your posture which results in less stress being placed on your spine and can also make you feel more confident
  4. Protects your inner organs and central nervous system: Strong core muscles will ensure that these vital organs are protected
  5. Help to prevent injuries: Most movement starts at the centre and moves outward. A strong core will ensure that these movement are strong and pain free

Make sure you aren’t neglecting these important muscles.

Jay xx