Mondays can be...rough. Whether you aren't that excited about returning to work or your feeling stress about all your responsibilities- it's normal but that doesn't make it any less painful to deal with.
One way to help you alleviate stress is to move! Movement pumps up your endorphins, and even acts as 'meditation in motion'. This can be a hard mindset shift when you've viewed exercise as punishment. One way to change this is to begin to see it as a tool to help you feel better and take care of your physical and mental health.
I know this shift won't happen overnight, but I wanted to share a strength training circuit that takes 30 minutes in case you need an idea for this week!
🍑Glutes🍑...why are they important? Is it all about looks or is there something more to think about?
Everyone can grow larger, stronger glutes, no matter where you start from. Despite recent social media trends, your backside isn't just ornamental. Your glutes are also incredibly important to your health and strength. The glutes are made up of three groups: the minimus, maximus & medius. These muscles are incredibly strong and powerful- but only if you know how to activate them properly. Most people don't, so let's dive into what you can do to get started.
Whether you're a serious athlete or work an office job with lots of sitting- you need to have strong glutes.
They help you...
Try this workout and let me know how it goes. Tag me on instagram @lilybirdlifts or share in our free Never Diet Again Facebook Group!
Do you ever notice that one side of your body is stronger than the other? What about flexibility and power, does that vary from side to side as well? If so- you're not alone. In my coaching experience I have found that most clients have a more dominant side. There can be many reasons why you have a discrepancy in your upper or lower body: past injury, which side is naturally more dominant, lifestyle (which hand you write with, which leg you step/jump with, etc.) While this development might be normal it's also important to note that strength training can either exacerbate or help balance your muscular imbalances.
If you are only performing bilateral exercises (bilateral- both arms or legs) you will get stronger on both sides at the same time. This is great for increasing strength and power but if you don't split your limbs up and force each one to work independently they will continue to be uneven. For example, if you are squatting 115lbs with both legs your right leg may be doing 75% of the work while your left side is only pushing 25% of the weight. While both legs will get stronger your right side will continue to get the most benefit while your left lags behind.
Interestingly enough this doesn't usually result in aesthetic differences between sides, but it can put undue pressure and stress on your dominant side. Most people end up injuring their dominant side first because of overuse or joint, ligament injuries. To avoid this result combining bilateral (both sides together) and unilateral (one side at a time) training is recommended.
Unilateral exercises allow you to train each side individually and can help isolate and correct muscle imbalances, aids injury prevention and can also improve injury rehabilitation. When you train one side at a time you are also indirectly stimulating the non-working side of your body. This helps improve the strength of neural pathways in your brain which can improve balance, strength and endurance on both sides of the body.
Unilateral exercises are single-leg or single-arm movements. The primary benefit of including unilateral exercises in your training programs is that the exerciser is using both sides of the body equally. Doing so helps your clients avoid overtraining or overusing the dominant side, helps to isolate and correct muscle imbalances, improves balance, utilizes core muscles, aids in injury prevention and facilitates rehabilitation.
It's best to start with low-impact exercises as you begin unilateral training. Consult with your doctor and a trusted, certified personal trainer before starting any new exercise routine.
TRY THIS! Unilateral movements to add to your next workout. I recommend 3-4 bilateral moves and 2-3 unilateral moves per workout.
About the Author
Lily lives in the Bay Area of California with her husband. She loves to lift heavy, watch vintage movies and cheer on her fellow warrior queens!