Push-ups are one of my go-to exercises. Like you, sometimes I struggle to get my workouts in, so my resistance training days need to be quick and include total body movements that build muscle, burn fat and make me feel like a bad ass. Push-ups are one of those bad ass moves ladies! Seriously, when I feel good and can randomly bust out 10 perfect push-ups…I feel like a total boss!
You must mean Jamie. And, yes you did.
One way to horrify my husband is by challenging someone/friends/family to a push-up challenge. I will challenge almost anyone, (except my husband 😉 and have been known to throw down at bars, parties, etc. It’s a great ice breaker PLUS, it feels awesome to do better push ups then most out of shape guys.
That time I did a push-up contest with the guys.
For me, the push-up was one of the first exercises that I trained for that made me feel powerful, strong and confident. Each time I did them I was a little bit better, a little bit stronger, and more confident to push-my self to do more.
This is a big reason why I am passionate about getting other women to do push-ups. I love coaching women to do push-ups! As a coach, I see potential in most of the women I train that they do not see in themselves. So the first time I say ” Next we are doing push-ups.” the fear and doubt in their face reminds me of where I started. We all have to start somewhere.
Other than push-ups being totally bad ass here are five reasons to do push-ups:
Builds Upper Body Strength: you can build upper body strength without having to use a ton of weights. Push-ups target the shoulders, pecs, and triceps which will develop a strong and defined upper body.
Strengthens your core: most people don’t know that a strong core is key to a push-up. Ever wondered why your hips sag or hike during your push-ups? Your abdominal muscles are acting as stabilizers during the push-up just like they would in a plank. Weak abs = poor push up form.
Increases energy quickly: Sure does! Two scenarios come to mind for this. First one, I hit a 2pm energy dip, I already had a coffee (or 2) and am about to coach a class, but I am still draggin a little. What do I do? Drop down and bust out some push-ups. Second, it’s been a long day, I have plans with friends to get some drinks and listen to some live music. It’s too late for coffee. Psst…push-ups! You see now why I like to challenge people? I get a quick increase of energy…I am really just helping everyone out while I get my competitive energy out 😉 Both scenarios create an almost immeddiate boost in energy. Just a few push ups increase circulation, fire up the brain, heats the body up and boosts energy levels.
Increases Bone Mass: Let’s face it, as we get older our bone mass declines. That’s why doing weight baring exercises like push-ups are important to keeping our bones strong. Along with major muscle groups, push-ups are also good for your wrists and elbow, so your risk for injury is low.
Weight loss: Since the push-up is a total body movement it will increase your heart rate quickly…yay. Increasing your heart rate will result in burning more calories, weight loss and overall improvement in your body composition. PLUS! The less you weight, the more push ups you can do!
I love push-ups so much that I created an 8-Week Push-up Princess Program that I am testing out RIGHT now with a group of women ready to become a Push-up Princess.
Are you ready to become a bad ass push-up princess with me?
My buttfession this week is a little bit different than the last 2, I want to talk about the safety of having a strong butt. Yes! If your ass is weak you are in some real danger. Danger?! That may be a little dramatic but we take glute strength pretty serious around here.
That’s why we tell all of our members to squeeze their glutes as much as possible!
So what do I mean by that? Think about it, the glutes are the largest muscle in the human body according to the library of congress. Not in some of you…in some of you those glutes that are supposed to be big and strong and round…are flat, small and weak.
What do the glutes do?
They are responsible for:
Hip extension (moving the leg behind your hip)
Hip abduction (moving your leg to the side)
Hip external rotation and internal rotation (pointing your foot internally and externally)
Raising the body up from a forwardly displaced position (think deadlift)
Lifting the body out of the stooped position (think squat)
Femoral, patellar and tibial alignment (knee pain? check the butt!)
Stabilizing the lower back and sacroiliac joint via its attachment into the thoracolumbar fascia (Back pain? check the butt!)
Keeps the pelvis level for walking and running
Strong glutes basically help you cook better and look good doing it 😉
Weak glutes can cause hip pain, knee pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain…even neck pain! Research has shown that the glutes are the first muscle to become inhibited with lower extremity (ankle and knee) and lower back injuries. If you’ve ever sprained an ankle, had knee pain or lower back pain, it’s a good bet you have weak glutes.
That’s some pretty serious stuff! So if your glutes are weak or turned off then you will have some serious issues at some point.
About 4 years ago I injured my low back, I had a herniation at L4 and L5. It wasn’t from one specific incident. I competed in my first powerlifting meet months before, was continuing to train for my next meet, traveling a lot for work, and I just moved the wrong way one day and there it was. Ouch! It hurt to touch my toes, it hurt while I was sleeping, I couldn’t sit for long periods of time with out fidgeting…it really sucked!
It turned out that I was using my lower back muscles to do what my glutes were supposed to do.
And what a bitch it was recovering. No lifting, working out, running, or any of my day to day activites…for about 6 months. It was very frustrating! The truth is weak glutes are dangerous. The loss of glute strength can be debilitating.
6 months after my injury I started an intense 16 week glute program to strengthen my glutes and fix my back. My butt is stronger AND I can do everything I could do before, but better!
With that being said I still have to do those glute builders and sculpters, you cannot just do a strength program of any kind and then stop. You don’t just become strong enough, you have to keep it up!
In the next installment of buttfessions we are going to talk about how you can tell if your glutes are strong enough. But for now – do this exercise every day, shoot for 100 reps at a time. Follow the below progression
Week 1 = 10 reps 10 times per day
Week 2 = 20 reps 5 times per day
Week 3 = 25 reps 4 times per day
Week 4 = 50 reps twice a day
Week 5 = 100 reps every day
Do you think you might have a weak butt that is contributing to join paint? We have a perfect program for you, click the image below for more info.
We don’t just help people lose weight, we also help them feel better and get them out of pain. Sometimes that involves hearing second hand what their doctors have said to them using x-ray or medical imaging results to base their opinions off of. Often times we ask ourselves – do these x-ray and medical imaging results help or harm our clients?
We hear this a lot –
“my doctor said I am bone on bone”
“my doctor said I need a joint replacement”
“my doctor said…blah…blah…blah.”
First, understand our stance on Medical Doctors – they are not god. What they say is based on years of developing critical thinking skills in the medical arena. For the most part that’s what a doctor does – they look at the situation, acquire information, interpret that information and then use critical thinking skills to determine the best course of action. Their word is not gospel, they are human and therefore can/do make mistakes AND their bias (like everyone’s) plays heavily into their treatment plans.
A mechanic will often tell you your car needs work – a surgeon will often tell you that you need surgery.
Doctors are no different.
Of course they have your best interest at heart (hopefully), however, there is one hurdle all doctors must overcome – exposure.
What does that mean?
If you come to KDR 4 times a week every week for a year that’s 208 visits, that’s 208 times that we are exposed to you. How you move, how you carry yourself, how you respond to physical/emotional stress, how you eat, how easy it is to get you to change, etc. We have more exposure in one year to a single person then they will most likely have to the entire medical community in their lifetime.
So, we see the people that are “bone on bone” or “hip replacement candidates” and let me just say – it’s not as bad as the doctor makes it out to be.
This is a great video explaining that. Most doctors (excluding PT’s, but their job isn’t to interpret imaging results) have no idea of how the body works when it comes down to skeletal muscle systems impacting the whole body. Sure your knee might be riddled with arthritis but that’s because your glutes are weak, your ankles are tight and your hamstrings are locked down…all leading to your knee having problems with how it works with the rest of the body. Just because something is “bone on bone” doesn’t mean you’re screwed!
Take 6 minutes – watch this video. Please. If you’re going through a situation where you are in pain and the doctor has taken imaging of you to back up his explanation of why you’re in pain, you need to watch this. Don’t go that surgery route!
When people first come to KDR they are usually (this is based off on our experience and the clientele that comes in) de-conditioned and not as strong as they could be. Plus, they are generally intimidated! Coming into a weight room full of equipment you don’t know how to use or have never seen before can be very overwhelming. So, we need a tool that isn’t intimidating, can help bring up someone’s conditioning level fast and that also helps to build strength quickly.
Kettlebells are a great way we can accomplish these goals, i.e. improve your aerobic fitness and get you stronger at the same time. PLUS! Thanks to social media and TV, KB’s are a piece of gym equipment most people have seen before so for beginners, KB’s aren’t that intimidating. After all…it’s just a ball with a handle.
According to a recent study by American Council of Exercise demonstrated that Kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, while also improving strength and dynamic balance.
“Kettlebell training increases strength, which you’d expect, but you also get these other benefits,” says Porcari. “You don’t really do resistance training expecting to get an aerobic capacity benefit, and you don’t do resistance training and expect to improve your core strength unless of course, you’re specifically doing core-strengthening exercises. But with kettlebells, you’re able to get a wide variety of benefits with one pretty intense workout.”
My training is heavily influenced by kettlebells as well as most of our members. Here are just a few things I have witnessed due to training with KBs:
Increased ability to go longer during runs – without running.
Increased ability to go faster during runs – without running.
Increased strength in core, glutes, hamstrings AND back.
On this weeks buttfessions lets talk about jeans for the petite athletic female. What do I mean by petite and athletic? Well, if your butt is bigger then your waist, you know what I am talking about.
It’s a bitch finding jeans that “fit”. Most clothing companies don’t make jeans to fit women with glutes or quad…or muscles for that matter. It’s a good problem to have BUT it’s still a problem. I don’t want to wear workout/yoga pants every day! Plus I really hate trying clothes on (Ben loves to shop…true story…you should see his shoe collection) so when I find a pair of jeans I stick with them.
Common issues I have are:
–The waist gap – when they fit my quads and butt just right…but I have a big waist gap in the back.
– The loose knees – when they fit perfect on the waist, butt and quads but my knees are baggy. What?!
– The skinny jean – I find a size that fits perfectly on butt, waist, and quads…TOO long. I have to roll them up like 3 times!
– The Saggy crotch – I barely squeeze them over my quads, get them buttoned…ok…suddenly they went from a high waist to a low waist because I can’t get them all the way up over my butt. The result is a saggy crotch that may split if I do the squat test. ALWAYS DO THE SQUAT TEST!
So what do I wear?
Hear what other fitness professionals are wearing!
Last week I gave you my favorite (builder) glute exercises. Link from 1st post. Check them out here.
Here are my top 5 sculptures:
SL Hip Ups
Side Lying ABD’s
These are movements you can do every day and add to your current workout program. I prefer a high rep range, 15-30 on each to maximize the burn AND pump. Love thy pump! I hope my buttfessions helps you embrace what you have and work with it rather than working against it.