Today, I want to talk about the butt, ladies. The sore butt, to be precise. (And, no, I can never resist a good opportunity to reference Sir-Mix-A-Lot in a headline. I’m helpless against his shake-that-healthy-butt attitude.)
See, after suffering from the most ironic of all ironic injuries back in 2010, I’ve taken an even greater notice of my rear. While a firm, good-looking rear is always a plus, I’m much, much more concerned with how it performs—actually, if it’s working at all. Said previous bum injury was caused by a weak glute that wasn’t firing. And after months of treatment, exercises and painfully easing back into things (taking that much time off was tough for me physically and mentally), I finally got it working again. Weak as it was, I could run a few miles and do lunges, but it had never felt really, really powerful. (And who doesn’t want a powerful rump to sprint and jump and shake with?!)
For the last year though, I’ve really focused on getting it not just functional but also STRONG. In my workouts at the Fit Pit, I have a coach (thanks, Coach Brian!) watch my form closely when I do squats and lunges to make sure my alignment is right (knees point out, not in!) and so that I don’t revert back to any of my former glute-lazy ways when my legs begin to tire. And, Ryan and I have started a more regular and formalized Olympic weight-lifting program, where I’m doing deadlifts, front squats and back squats (we’ll soon add upper-body work to the mix, too). Again, we’ve been taught to do these PERFECTLY (thanks, Coach Brett!).
And the coolest part? I know that I’m doing them right because my glutes are So. Damn. Sore. It’s pretty awesome. The other day we did skier’s lunges (where you put one foot up on a plyo box and lunge with dumbbells in your hands), and the next day I could point to all the different parts of my glutes that had worked—and hard. I know it sounds strange and a bit masochistic, but it’s like a gift from my body that says, “Hey, thanks for working me right where I need it!”
Not to brag…okay, I’m going to brag: I’m dang proud of my progress strengthening my glutes one correctly performed squat and lunge at a time. It’s slow going, but a few more months of this, and I just might have a fitter bottom than I ever thought possible! (Hmmm. I sniff a healthy goal/New Year’s resolution for 2013 a brewin’…)
Are you working on any weaknesses in your body? Are you overcoming an injury—even a year or more out? How much do you watch your form when you’re doing strength work? Let’s chat about it! —Jenn