Fitness Expert’s Tip of the Month – October

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The ultimate hamstring and glute move

At one time or another most people have preformed leg strengthening moves in a fitness class, but I bet you won’t find one as challenging as this one. To begin with, you’ll need a fitness mat and a body band. Typically body band are flat, latex (or latex free) bands, about 4 inches wide and 5 feet long.

Begin by getting down onto the floor on your knees. Wrap the band one time around your right foot so that your arch and heel are securely in the band (Similar to wrapping an ace bandage around your foot. BUT make sure it’s only 1 time). Then place the end of each side under each palm as you get into a quadruped position. A quadruped position is when you are on your hands, and knees. Make sure your hands are shoulder distance apart, fingers spread wide and facing forward. Your shoulder, elbow, and wrist should make a straight line. Your knees should be about 4 inches apart from one another and your knees and hips are aligned with the top of both feet resting on the floor.

Begin by drawing your navel to spine, and pressing your palms into the floor to elevate your chest, retract your shoulders, and keep the ends of the band secure under each palm. Extend your right foot behind you, so your leg is straight, and your foot is still on the floor. As you inhale prepare to move, and as you exhale through your mouth, engage your core, press your palms into the floor, and lift your leg to the height of your hip inhaling while extending your leg. (**It’s important to remember to 1) Keep your hips level throughout this entire sequence 2) Keep your leg no higher than your hip line.) Once your leg is elevated, and lengthened, exhale as you bend your knee back towards your belly, and then inhale to elongate your leg behind you keeping your leg no higher than your hip. Repeat this sequence in increments of 5. When 5 becomes easier move to 10, and then 15. When you can preform this sequence for 15 repetitions on each leg, then work to do 2 sets of this movement.

After you have completed this movement you will want to stretch your hamstring and glute. One of the easiest ways is to move into a child’s pose position. From your quadruped, hinge your tush back towards your heels, allowing your knees to open as wide as your ribcage, but keeping your big toes touching. This extended position will release tension in your back, and stretch your glutes and hips. You can also preform the “Rolling Down The Wall” movement explained in September’s edition.

By adding the resistance of the band, you’ll be challenging your body further, and really working your upper and lower glute and hamstring muscles. As with all movements, preforming this exercise correctly- keeping your body line correct, using your breath, and engaging your core, will allow you to be more efficient and effective, while reducing the risk for injuries.

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~ Amy Lademann, Fitness Expert, Campus Calm

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