This is an advanced leg exercise which I picked up from coach Nick Tumminello. It mainly targets the inner thighs. It will also work the butt muscles, the obliques and back muscles.
All in all, you get a lot from this exercise but it isn't easy.
You have to be able to hold a side plank with ease and have a good level of leg and upper body strength.
• Lay on side with top knee on a bench or solid flat surface. Knee should be bent with foot and shin resting on the surface
• Elbow should be under shoulder with shoulder pulled back and down, engaging back muscles
• Brace core very tightly and squeeze knee into bench or surface
• Go into a side plank position with bottom foot still on floor
• Maintain side plank position and squeeze bottom leg towards the top leg, lifting as high as possible without rotating through the body
• With control, lower the bottom leg towards floor
• Repeat for given number of reps before changing sides
The band resisted split squat can serve a few purposes:
1) The band resistance just above the knee makes the glute muscles on that side work harder during the split squat exercises.
This is great if you're putting an emphasis on training the butt muscles a bit more during leg exercises.
2) It can be a useful corrective strategy. For many people, when they do leg exercises such as split squats, lunges, squats, and deadlifts, you sometimes see one or both knees drop inwards. Something called valgus collapse.
Pressing the knee into the band throughout the exercise teaches correct positioning which should reduce the amount of collapse.
• Attach a resistance band to a solid object and place around the leg that will be in front
• Stand tall with abdominals braced. Arms by sides. Sideways to bands point of attachment
• Take a large step forward into a staggered stance. Back leg is straight with heel off floor. This is the start position. Front leg should be the leg furthest from the point of attachment
• Keep torso upright or in a slight forward lean, bend both knees and lower hips straight down towards floor.
• Lower until knees are bent approximately 90 degrees but stop before back knee touches floor.
• To reverse, press front heel into floor and squeeze butt muscles to raise hips straight up and return to start position.
• Repeat all reps on one leg before repeating on opposite side.
I covered some Hip Thrust exercises way back in February and they were pretty popular.
So here's another variation I have been using with my clients to great effect.
Hip Thrusts are popular because you can really feel them working the butt muscles, and the 1.5 rep scheme puts a lot more work on those muscles.
The key throughout is to keep squeezing the butt muscles and don't lose that tension. It is the tension which helps those muscles grow.
The other good thing about the 1.5 rep method is you can apply it to lots of exercises to create a high training stimulus, think leg press, lat pulldowns, chest presses, bicep curls, lat raises etc etc.
• Begin sitting on a floor with a bench behind body. Ideally bench height, when seated, should be at shoulder blade height. If bench is higher, begin exercise with butt off floor.
• Brace abdominal muscles and keep braced throughout exercise. Arms can be lightly held in front of body or resting on bench for additional support.
• Begin movement by breathing out and squeezing glute muscles hard whilst driving through feet to lift hips up towards ceiling.
• Shoulder blades and upper back should rotate around edge of bench as hips raise up.
• Continue raising hips until knees - hips - shoulders are in a straight line. Do not over extended lower back to lift higher.
• Breathe in and reverse motion about halfway back to starting point.
• Squeeze the butt muscles again to drive the hips back up
• Then fully lower body to start position
The standard Glute Bridge is a great butt exercise to incorporate into your workouts.
One of the limitations for most people is how much weight can be handled before it starts to get uncomfortable.
This is where performing 1 - Leg versions of an exercise can work well.
However, switching from a 2-leg to 1-leg version isn't always easy as it requires coordination and strong core muscles.
We are generally stronger in the lowering phase of an exercise than the lifting phase. Knowing that, this variation helps to bridge the gap (pun not intended) between 2 and 1 leg versions.
• Lay on back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Feet hip width apart with toes facing away.
• Brace abdominal muscles and keep braced throughout exercise.
• Squeeze glutes and lift hips up off floor. Continue raising until there is a straight line from knees - hips - shoulders.
• Avoid over-arching lower back during exercise and try not to use hamstrings during exercise. Work should be done by butt muscles.
• In this top position, lift one foot up off the floor and keep it off
• With control, lower back to floor, place foot back on the floor and repeat on same side. Then switch sides
• Use a towel across hips to cushion against weight if using a dumbbell
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!