Кві 13

Pillar Bridge


This exercise is considered to be quite difficult (most effective to buttock muscles though), so don’t rush to move up to it until you fully master all the previous buttock training variations (kickback and shoulder bridge). If those are quite easy for you (certainly with correct technique) – try to increase the training load by performing the bridge using additional pillars under your legs and shoulders.
To perform this exercise you will need a stable pillar about 50 cm of height (but not higher than your knees level). The best thing to use is a bed, because it has a soft surface. If you use a chair or a bench – put a towel or other soft object on it, to avoid discomfort during the exercise.
What muscles work: buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, spine muscles.
Performing technique: bend your legs, sit at the pillar, so that your shoulders were at its edge level. You can connect your hands behind your back or put them on hips. Put your legs a little more narrow that your shoulder-width (photo 1). Tilt your head back, using buttock muscles rise your pelvis, so that in top position your body was horizontal (photo 2). Hold the required pause, than go back to the starting position.
Pillar bridge (starting position)Pillar bridge (final position)
Notice: use a stable pillar or put it buy the wall to avoid slipper. Do not stick your pelvis up too much, and do not led it hang down – your body should be straight from shoulders to knees. Since shoulder rise increases the load on knee joint, you should choose the leg position correctly – at the top position they should be at right angle. Perform the exercise in 3-1-3-1 rhythm (three seconds to go up and down, one second pauses at the top and bottom). If you would like to give your buttock muscles some additional static load by keeping the top position for longer time – don’t hold breath, breathe deep and rhythmic. Increase your training level until you can rise the rep amount to 20. On final reps ask someone to control you, or exercise in front of mirror (you may also record the exercise on video), because as you get tired, you decrease the amplitude unconsciously (especially in top position).
As in case of shoulder bridge, this kind of exercise has two complicated variations: top position leg raise (photo 3) and leaning on one leg at the starting position (photo 4) (always start from the weaker leg). The rules of performing remain the same, but the requirements to correct technique become even stricter. To keep balance you can hold your hands behind your head and spread your elbows, getting additional standing points in that way. Remember, that this exercises require more muscle strength and joints hardness, so don’t rush, first, master all the previous kinds of pelvis raises.
Pillar bridge (complicated variation, with leg raised) Pillar bridge (complicated variation, on one leg)
If you can perform at least 20 reps of each exercise, proposed here, with proper technique – you can move on to the higher league. Try to master the two pillars bridge: on shoulders and legs. Since in this exercise you can’t place your pelvis lower than your feet level (photo), the rear hip muscles get an additional load. At the top position your pelvis will be higher than shoulders, but your body from shoulders to knees should remain straight (photo). To safely perform this exercise use only stable pillars. Watch your breath, synchronize it with movement rhythm: 4 seconds to inhale and pelvis rise, one second pause at the top position, 4 seconds to exhale and go down, one second to prepare to the next rep. Though for most, even well-trained athletes this variation of bridge is quite difficult, if you want to test your powers – try to perform it in two variations, descripted above: rising one bent leg at the top position and using only one leg at the bottom. But remember, that you should not include those to your training program until you can perform at least 20 reps of classic two-pillar bridge. Good luck!


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.

Кві 13

Shoulder bridge


I’m sure, that the previous exercise for buttocks (kickbacks) was not a problem for you. If you can do 20 reps on each leg in different variations – it is about time to increase the load on buttock muscles, doing shoulder bridge.
What muscles work: buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, spine muscles.
Performing technique: lay on the floor, with your legs bent (calves are almost perpendicular to the floor) and put on shoulder-width. You can cross your hands on chest or put by your body with palms down (photo 1). Pushing legs towards the floor, using your buttock muscles, raise the pelvis, so that your body was straight from knees to shoulders (photo 2). Fix this position for a few seconds and go back to the starting position.
Shoulder bridge (starting position)Shoulder bridge (final position)
Notice: don’t try to tighten your calves to buttocks at the starting position, just put them as comfortable. Keep the whole body straight, do not let your pelvis hang or stick up too much. Perform the exercise slowly, trying to feel the main working muscles. Breathe in movement rhythm: as pelvis goes up (3 seconds) – inhale, at top position make one second pause, as you go down (3 seconds) exhale. Watch your knees position, they shouldn’t spread or get together during the whole exercise.
If it is difficult for you to perform the exercise with full amplitude (especially if you are recovering from back injuries), decrease the depth by putting bent towel or other soft object under your buttocks.
If it comes easy to you (you can do at least 20 reps with proper technique), you can move on to more complicated variations:

  • At the top position, keeping your body straight, get one leg off the floor and raise to the right angle between core and hip top (photo 3). After a pause switch the leg, without coming to starting position. Better place your hand along your body to keep balance.Shoulder bridge (complicated variation, with leg raised)
  • Try to perform this exercise, when standing on one leg at start. To do this, bend one leg in knee and hip, so that your calf was parallel to the floor. Put the base leg’s foot on your body axis. Using muscles straighten the core, without changing the inactive leg angle. Repeat for required times, then go back to the starting position and switch leg. Since the inactive leg’s muscles also get some load, always start from the weaker one. If you feel cramps in hip muscles – go back to classic technique, until your buttock muscles are string enough, and take the main part of the work.

Having mastered all the proposed variations, you can increase the training load by performing the bridge using shoulder and leg pillars.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.

Кві 13

Exercises for buttocks

 


Buttock exercise are traditionally considered to be “women’s” – and they totally shouldn’t. Of course, women (especially girls) watch the body part, where buttocks located, with special attention. But men shouldn’t also ignore buttock trainings. At least because well-trained buttock muscles do not only make woman’s shape graceful, but man’s shape – athletic. Besides, buttock muscle is one of the biggest ones in body, so you should pay special attention to its training, either you want to get slim, or build mass.
Yes, this muscle group is trained in most of leg exercises, but targeted work on buttocks will give you an ability to much increase their efficiency Let’s look at squats, for example. One of the main requirements to correct squats – knees shouldn’t get out of toes level, the back should be bent naturally. Exactly the strong buttocks grant all of those requirements, lowering the risk of injury and increasing the squats efficiency. Strong body is impossible without strong legs. And exactly the buttock muscles are the link between upper and lower body.
Don’t forget about mostly sitting way of life of most of us. What do we sit on? Correct, on buttock muscles. As the consequence – bad blood supply to this body part in result of constant squeezing leads to untrained buttock muscles. It reflects not only on look of this body part, but makes usual daily exercises dangerous (not even talking about power training).
I hope that I have made you sure in necessary to pay attention to this muscle group. In this section the effective buttock exercises are collected, which can be performed at home. Let’s traditionally start from the easiest.

Kickbacks

What muscles work: buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, spine muscles.
Performing technique: stand on all-four (on palms, knees and toes). Put hands on shoulder-width, legs – a little more narrow. Pre-shoulders and hips should be both perpendicular to the floor. Keep your back straight, look down (photo 1). Without core position switch, using buttocks, straighten one leg (photo 2), so that heel was on back’s level (or higher). Hold this position for a second and go back to the stating position. Perform required reps with one leg or switch leg and repeat.
Kickbacks (final position) Kickbacks (starting position)
Notice: when performing the exercise, avoid pelvis moves and spine bends. Watch you active leg to be always straight: imagine, that you must touch some object behind with your heel or toe (another name of this exercise, “The Kicking Donkey”, will help to imagine the required technique). Keep the other limbs still, do not let your core bend or curl. You can do this exercise slow as well as fast (like kicking with your leg), but it is recommended to start from controlled movement (in rhythm: 3 seconds to straighten/bend and one second pauses at beginning and end).
This exercise is considered as one of the easiest, that is why doing 20 reps won’t be a problem for you. If you did it – try to complicate it, by keeping the active leg bent in knee joint (photo 3). This will help you to work more accented on buttock muscles, and also will get some load off your lower back. As in previous exercise, watch the main movement to be performed only with active leg, do not let spine bends and pelvis unnecessary moves. For this variation it will be better to perform all the reps with one leg, and then switch the leg. But don’t forget to make second pauses at top and bottom points to avoid inertia. Increase your performance to the level, when you can easily do 20 reps on each leg.
Kickbacks (complicated variation)
When you have reached the level, mentioned above, move on to the last, hardest variation of kickbacks. To perform it, when you straighten a leg (like in classic kickback) straighten the opposite hand (for left leg – right and all the way round). Since the right performing of this exercise needs core stabilization, from bend, as well as from curl, the additional groups of spine muscles will be involved, which much increases the training effect (photo 4).
Kickbacks with arm raise
Switch hands after each rep to avoid excessive one-sided muscle exhausting. Raise the reps amount to 40 (20 for each leg).
If you have managed to do the task – continue to develop and strengthen buttock muscles with more complicated exercises (for example, pelvis raises in shoulder bridge position).


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.


Other articles about buttocks exercises:

Shoulder bridge: an effective buttocks exercise, easily done at home
Pillar bridge: increase the load to work better on buttock muscles, hips and back