Monday, April 2, 2012

A** like J Lo

Who doesn’t want a nice perky butt? Some may be born with a naturally perky, round butt, but you have to work at it to keep it from sagging and becoming mushy. I’ve had clients that I’ve trained whose sole goal was to have an a** you can bounced quarters off of. This can be achieved with some simple exercises.
Now, as much as I hate squats and lunges I do them because they are great for strengthening your leg muscles. Strengthening your butt and other muscles when you are pregnant can help you boost your energy and sleep better. Exercising when pregnant can prepare your body for labor and delivery and may help lower your risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Maintaining your fitness during your pregnancy can help you regain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly.

The exercises this week is suitable for all terms. Please use good judgment if you are using weights, its better increase repetitions at a no weight or lower weight than straining yourself with heavier weights. Be mindful you are carrying precious cargo, and that you can use heavier weights once the baby is born and the doctor gives you clearance to get back into exercise.
Please keep in mind, if you have any lower back problems, or SPD(Pelvic Girdle Pain), consult your doctor before performing any of the exercises below.

Standing Squats:
1. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed forward.
2. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine, head/eyes facing forward and keep your chest up.
3. Move your hips downward and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. (You should feel your quadriceps/thighs tighten to help stabilize you on the way down)
4. Make sure your knees do not move in front of your feet. (this will prevent knee pain and keep your lower leg in proper alignment)
5. While keeping your heels flat on the floor, squeeze your butt and return slowly to the starting position.
6. Repetitions 10-15, Sets 2-3. Optional: with light to moderate hand weights (3-8 pds per side)
6. Note: I have added other modifications if you want variety in your squats. The second picture is the beginner squat exercise. Please try the first picture, and if you want it too hard after a few reps, do the beginner wall squat until you get stronger. 

Standing Lunges:
1. Step forward with your right foot while keeping your head and spine neutral.
2. Lower your left knee to the floor by bending both knees.
3. Keep your knee directly over your foot as you lower your body toward the ground.
4. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
5. Repetitions 10-15 per side, Sets 2-3. Optional: with light to moderate hand weights (3-8 pds per side)

Curtsy Lunge:
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on hips.
2.  Keep your chest up and eyes facing forward, shoulders squared. 
3. Cross your right leg behind your left, and bend both knees, lowering your body until your left thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. 
4. Return to start and repeat.
5. Repetitions 10-15 per side, Sets 2-3. Optional: with light to moderate hand weights (3-8 pds per side)

Butt Kickbacks:

1. Get your yoga mat out, or be on a cushioned floor.

2.  Start on all fours in a table-top position with hands directly below shoulders.

3. Feet should be hip distant apart. Feet can be wider to compensate for the growing belly. Eyes should be looking towards the floor ahead of you. (this will help keep you neck and spine in a neutral position)

4. Lift one of your legs while keeping your knee flexed to 90 degrees.

5. In a slow and controlled manner, lift your leg until the bottom of your foot is pointing toward the ceiling. (like a horse kicking back)

6. Lower slowly, repeat and work your opposite leg.

7. If you don’t feel these, it may mean you are doing it too fast, so slow down the pace and engage those glutes!

8. Repetitions 10-15 per side, Sets 2-3.

Stayed tuned for next Monday’s edition of Inner Thighs and all that Jelly! 


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