Last night I had a cat in my lap and that was my excuse for not doing my Glute Exercises that I should do for physical therapy. But tonight he is sleeping soundly by himself, so I have nothing holding me back. It’s time to get into the glutes groove!
Back in 2014, I went to see a physical therapist about my knee issues. I have horrible crap knees that twinge and ache and throb if I do extreme knee movements like squats or lunges, or high impact movements like box jumps or running. Back then, it really turned me off to CrossFit because I guarantee they have you squat at least once a day, from Wall-Balls, or Thrusters, or any of the Olympic lifts. Instead of trying to modify, I got frustrated and just didn’t go. But eventually my frustrations became so overwhelming that I decided to see a doctor about them. The good news was my knee issues were functional, not structural. This means that if I can just learn to use them right, I’d be okay. The problem I have mainly is weak and tight glutes and IT band. So, the solution is getting my glutes on and doing exercises everyday that strengthen them.
Only, I have let those exercises fall way way way to the wayside in the past few months. So no wonder my knees have been so achy after one lap around the park or 15 box squats. I need to get back into the glute groove.
There are dozens and dozens of glute strengthening exercises. Fire Hydrants (I call them Alpha Dogs), Single Leg Sit-downs (which I have deemed “Flamingo Squats, b/c they are one-legged….you know like flamingos stand on one leg? Never mind), Inner and Outer Leg lifts, and Lateral Walks with a band, just to name a few.
Today is Tuesday, which I have deemed Tabata Tuesday, so I came up with a Tabata workout for me to do with my Glute Exercises. And boy are my glutes on FIRE!!! (If you are unfamiliar with Tabata workouts- they incorporate 4 movements, 8 rounds for each movement done for 20 second intervals with 10 seconds rest. The goal is to do as many repetitions in the 20 seconds, and keep score). My 4 movements for tonight were Donkey Kicks, Side Plank Crossovers (I’ve named them Chameleon Crossovers), Weighted Glute Bridges (I named them Snail Bridges when I was trying to determine a proper exercise for a zoo animal card I have), and what I have lovingly named “Pratt Keeping” or Raptor Keeper Walks”.
Since it’s been so long since I’ve done a full glutes workout, I went a little easy on myself, maxing myself at a repetition number each round. Remember, little steps lead to bigger habits that stick. My fragile non-motivated mind right now would easily balk at doing glutes exercises if I did too much too soon. So, I’m actually really proud of my 20 minute “intense” Tabata.
I did 51 on each leg for Donkey Kicks.
I did 60 each leg for Chameleon Crossovers
I did weighted glute bridge, with 10 lb weights on each leg. I pushed out 125 glute bridges.
I pumped out 6 walks each leg for each round, for a total of 42!
I have other glute exercises, listed and demonstrated for you in my Exercise Lists. Glute exercises are great for people who don’t have a lot of time, have certain physical ailments or injuries (like my knee problems), or don’t have any gym equipment. Even if you don’t have rubber tube-bands for the walks, you can tie a couple socks together and use those. You can do these absolutely ANYWHERE. I live in an apartment complex with super thin walls and creaky floors (we can hear everything the football team above us is doing every night!), and I was able to do this entire workout without banging the floor. Glute exercises are good for nearly anyone at any fitness level. They are easy to modify and easy to add on to challenge yourself (when glute bridges get easy, switch over to single leg glute bridges and let me know how those feel).
I’m going to try to get creative with my glutes, and incorporate a glutes focused workout for me and Chris at least once a week. Our asses will thank us later. I’m glad I got back into the glutes!