“Sitting is the new smoking.”
I’m guessing by now, most everyone has heard that. And I would tend to agree. Sitting makes us lazier, more complacent to conform to society’s norm of a sedentary lifestyle AND it weakens our hip and core musculature.
So, when you walk into the gym, it’s always the same thing: “I just want to get my abs looking good!”
“Hey coach, can we smoke the abs today in the finisher? Like get them where I don’t want to cough or laugh the next day?”
And of course, a good coach says, “heck yeah we can do that!”
However, once the finisher comes, the coach throws in some glute bridges or hip thrusters also…wtf!
“Hey coach, why are we doing glute work when I want the abs crushed?”
Oh no, that athlete has just opened up an opportunity for the coach to go on a rant and educate.
But we would never do that halfway through a finisher at FIT 🙂
So, instead, I will explain the rationale here.
It’s actually quite simple to explain. First I need you to stand up. Yeah I know, you have to get out of your chair.
Now, stick your butt out behind you. Good. Do you notice your gut is also sticking out? Perfect. So, in that position, I want you to pretend you are going to get punched in the gut by someone who doesn’t like you. Can you brace your abs to protect yourself against that punch?
So, if you really want to brace yourself against that punch, what do you have to do? Pull the abs tight and clench. Probably the same thing you would want to do when doing a plank to get the most out of your ab work, right?
When you pull the abs tight and clench, what did you notice happen to your butt? It pulled back under you and clenched as well!
So, it seems that the butt and the gut are intimately tied together, specifically when you try to brace your abs super hard the way anyone might want to in let’s say a finisher focused on the abs 🙂
Anatomically speaking, there is far more to discuss beyond this and I would be happy to nerd out on it with you, just reach out to me. But for today, I think you get the idea.
So, we need the glutes to function with the abs and vice versa. That is why a glute bridge or thruster is so effective as part of a good ab crushing finisher.
And I have one that anyone should be able to do at home, assuming you actually have furniture to sit on.
It’s called the Squeezing Hip Thruster. You are going to need something sitting height to put your shoulders on and a ball that isn’t fully pumped up.
- Find a place to put your shoulders on that is typical chair height (~18”)
- Squeeze the semi-flat ball between your knees and set up so your shoulders are on the edge of the chair and your knees are bent to 90 degrees
- Then, brace your core and hinge at the hips so your hips drop without losing your upper body position (it’s quite easy to let the upper body sag here versus getting a true hip hinge
- From there, push hard into the ground and extend into a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
- Once there, squeeze the ball as hard as possible for 5-10 seconds
– For extra credit, try to squeeze the ball so hard you cramp somewhere in the legs or abs
- Relax slightly to return to the hinge. Repeat 5-10 times
We can’t revert to our old ways of working outside being active, especially with the massive increase of “work from home” jobs.
So, instead, let’s be proactive about protecting our precious ass-ets (pun intended), our powerhouse glutes and abs that make you smile in the mirror!