Lower Body Strength

90-90-90 Lunge

KEY POINTS

Set up in a squared lunge with your back hip over your back knee and your front knee over your front ankle.

Keep your spine perpendicular and your pelvic bowl in neutral.

Press equally into both feet to come up to stand. Push the floor away from you!

Keep your back knee bent while straightening your front knee to keep your pelvis in neutral.

Return completely to the floor and begin again from a dead stop.


Straight Leg Deadlift

KEY POINTS

Keep the weight close to your body. Pull your shoulder blades down your back to help with this. Imagine squeezing a clutch purse between your upper arm and armpit.

Keep your back straight.

Keep your knees stacked directly over your ankles.

Press your feet strongly into the ground.

Feel your hamstrings. Imagine you are going to kick your butt with your heels. This can help you find your hamstrings.


Hip Bridge March #1 + #2

Once you are able to successfully hold a Hip Bridge for 30 seconds for 3 sets, you are ready to attempted the Hip Bridge March.

The key points from the Hip Bridge exercise also apply to the Hip Bridge March: Keep your full foot on the floor, keep your feet and knees aligned with your hip bones and pointing straight forward.

KEY POINTS

Hip Bridge March #1:

Transfer your weight to your RIGHT side, particularly feeling for the muscles of your right butt and hamstrings.

Pick your LEFT heel off the floor.

Continue to root down strongly through your right foot.

Do not allow your hips to shift or drop.

Do not allow your spine to back bend.

Can you feel the butt and hamstring of the grounded leg? Can you keep your hips high and your pelvis level?

Pause in the top position and hold for 5 - 10 breaths.

If your hamstring muscles on your right leg cramp, stop and reset. Do the movement again while attempting to recruit more butt muscles.

Repeat the movement with your left foot on the ground and your right heel off the floor.

Perform 3 - 5 reps on each leg.

Hip Bridge March #2:

Once you master Hip Bridge #1, begin to lift the entire foot off the floor. All the same alignment points apply.


A Quick Look At Some Deadlifts

Stand directly over your kettlebell, dumbbell or sandbag. If you are using a barbell, keep the bar close to your body.

Your armpits should be over the handle of the kettlebell or barbell.

Hinge from your hips while keeping your spine neutral.

Keep your knees directly over your ankles.

Strongly grip the kettlebell, dumbbell, sandbag or barbell. Feel the pinky finger edge of your hand wrap strongly around as part of your grip.

Pull your shoulder blades down your back and break the bar with your hands.

Bubble your butt.

Press your feet into the floor and stand up. Push the floor away from you as you stand.


Hip Bridge

*SOUND ON FOR VERBAL INSTRUCTION*

KEY POINTS

Place your feet hip width apart with your toes pointing directly forward.

If you have one, place a yoga block between your knees and give it a gentle squeeze with your inner thigh muscles.

Set up with the neutral curves of your spine in tack. This means your mid-back (bra-line area) will be in contact with the ground, your lower back will be slightly arched away from the floor, and your chin and forehead will be level.

Without moving your spine at all, simply engage your butt muscles. DO NOT tuck your tailbone. Do not make a movement yet, just feel your butt engage.

Maintain the neutral curves of your spine as you press your feet into the floor and use your butt to lift your hips to the sky.

Consciously engage your butt muscles and keep pressing your feet into the floor.

As always, keep your face relaxed and breathe easily through your nose.

HOW TO PROGRESS THE HIP BRIDGE

Once you have mastered the Hip Bridge, hold the top position for up to 30 seconds while isometrically contracting your hamstring and butt muscles. Work up to 3 sets of 30 second holds.

Once you have mastered 3 sets of 30 second holds, progress to the Hip Bridge March, Single Foot Hip Bridge, Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridge, Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridge March, Single Leg Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridge.

Can you feel how this exercise informs your Deadlift, Squat and Lunging exercises?


Hamstring Bridge Walkout

KEY POINTS

Lie on your back with your ankles under your knees, your toes off the floor and your heels pressing into the floor.

Optional: Squeeze a yoga block between your knees.

Lift your hips. Pause in the lifted position for 5 - 10 seconds.

Return to the floor and walk your feet further from your body.

Lift again and hold for 5 - 10 seconds.

Continue in this manner until your knees are as straight as you can get them while still being able to lift up.

Then take a series of steps back to your starting point.

As always: Breathe easily as you move.


Goblet Squat

KEY POINTS

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips with your feet slightly turned out.

  • Externally rotate your thighbones and feel your weight shift to the lateral edge of your foot.Feel for the weight of your body in your heels.

  • Keep your shoulders relaxed away from your ears and your elbows tight. Do not let your elbows flare out.

  • Hold the weight close to your body.

  • Sit back and down attempting to get your hip crease just below the top of your knee cap. Keep feeling for the weight in your heels as you sit back. Keep your thighs externally rotated and your knees wide.

  • Press the floor away from you as you come back up to stand.

  • Choose a weight that allows you to perform 5 - 10 receptions with good technique

 

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

It is important to hold the weight close to your body with integrity in your arms. See how my elbows are hugging close to my body in the photo below? This is correct.

Do not allow your elbows to flare out to the sides like in the picture below.

Keep the weight close to your body. Do you see how I am holding the weight far away from my body in the photo below? This is not good. It causes added strain in your shoulders, neck, upper and lower back.

Remember: Keep the weight close to your body with shoulders relaxed and your elbows hugging tightly in toward each other. You can see this optimal positioning in the photo below.