We leave the house, get on a train, a bus, a tube, and if we are lucky we find a seat!, then we get to work and sit, sit, sit and more sitting... Sound familiar? For most people in office environments we spend an inordinate amount of time sitting, so unfortunately the buttocks get very little work and unless we consciously do something about it, we lose this muscle. This group of muscles houses the largest group of muscles in our bodies: The Gluteus maximus, gluteus medium and the gluteus minimus are used to keep us upright, balanced, rotating, walking, sitting, running, we need these muscles to be at the top of their game!
So to help fire up these muscles and get that juicy perkiness back and have you making those jeans work for you! I have put together 5 simple ways to add to your day to day routine.
Stairs: Friend not Foe!
I know we all want to ignore them but really stairs are our friends, even if you are on the 8th 32nd or 1st floor. These bad boys will help instantly fire up your glutes, your thighs, hamstrings and burn calories along the way. If you are lucky enough to be on the 8th + floor, build up to it. Don't suddenly feel like you can tackle a mountain but baby steps, start with doing one flight of stairs, till you can do this without thinking, then 2 flights and so on till you find you are quicker than the folk going via a lift! Now thats power to the behind!
This might sound like an odd one but squats come in various ways and even people with bad knees can do an adaptation of a squat. If we think about it we squat all the time, getting up and down from the chair we spend a large proportion of time on, going to the lavatory, resting on a fence etc So why not utilise this more... Each time you go to the lavatory, head to the disabled toilets instead and do 30 squats. remembering to get the position correct. Feet planted firmly on the floor, hip width apart, soft knees, tail bone tucked under and lean back into your seat. Engage your core and slowly lower yourself down to a comfortable position and when there, lower an extra inch, just to add that extra burn, when you lift up, tighten your buttocks pushing your hips forward slightly. You should be able to squat and be able to lift your toes off the floor. The bulk of the weight should be from the base and heel of the foot to get more leverage. Remember the more you drink, the more you squat, so get drinking that water and see how you can change your shape!
May sound a little odd but this can be done anywhere, and even easily, done whilst you are sat down. Engage your core and buttocks and slowly tuck your tail bone under you and release. This is not a big movement and has such a powerful impact on improving your posture, activating your glutes whilst strengthening your lower abdomen at the same time, and they say sitting can't be helpful!
Channel Your Inner Dancer! We all find ourselves walking or standing chatting to someone, so at that precise moment, why not multitask and help our bodies work for us. Engage the core, pull in the tummy as though you are zipping up a pair of jeans, knees soft and lift up onto those toes, if thats too tricky just go half way and hold and then lower. Several calf raises later and you will begin to feel it in your calves as the gastroneimus and soleus muscles will be activated and help shape your muscles in your legs. Another way to do this, if if you are sat down lengthen your leg in front and push your leg further in front as though you are trying to push your leg away. Once you feel the point of lengthen, then flex and pointe your toes. This is a great way to define the shape of your legs. Now who doesn't want that?
Wonky Knees Alert...
AKA The clam shell, I know you must think that you have to be laying on your side feet together and then raising one leg in the clam shell fashion but your don't . If you have ever tried doing Barrecore you will note that they like to activate your glutes, standing, sitting, lying down and with or without weighted balls just to add to the burn. So this is a slight adaption of the standing clam shell. As you have a ball and socket in your hip joint, you can rotate this a lot more than any other joint (except shoulders). However the trick with the clam shell is to take very small movements, so as you stand chatting around or waiting at the bus, train, tube. Plant your feet firmly into the ground together, then starting with your right leg rotate your hip no more than 45 degrees out, if you put your hands on your hip, you need to make sure that your hip does not move It needs to stay in front at all times, if you feel your hips pulling out, you are going too far. This is a very small move but really helps with the saddle bags we have. If you feel like this is not the exercise for you, just imagine you are in the post line, doing the Hot Chocolate dance in The Full Monty and shake those legs! Or if that doesn't work, you could always do at home or when you have a moment of quiet.
At the end of the day, there is always ways to add extra movement into our day to day, whether thats drinking more water to force you to get out of the chair, or doing exercises when you are in the toilets, to getting off at an earlier tube/bus stop so you have to walk further. Anything is anything and anything is better than nothing. So lets get moving and finding ways to strengthen our bodies as well as our glutes and give us the strength to deal with the day to day.