personal training st. john's

personal training st. john's
I was lying down on the couch the other day and went to push myself off to get up.

My leg was in such a position that it activated the crap out of my glute. You see, I was propped up on some pillows and the unique position I had my legs bent actually put my glutes in an advantageous position (relative to my hamstrings) to execute hip extension. Referred to as active insufficiency, the bi-articular hamstring muscle which crosses the hip and knee joints, was in a disadvantageous position to activate.

Robert Panariello actually just wrote about this on Bret Contreras’ blog HERE.

In his post, Robert discusses a glute test that utilizes an assessment table and plyometric box.

This position was how I was propped up on this couch, sort-of.

I was thinking how I could simulate this in the gym without the assessment table because this bridge variation is actually very effective at targeting you glutes.

I was playing around in the gym this morning and came up with these two unique bridge variations.

Thanks to active insufficiency, your glutes should dominate this bridge variation. Robert describes this table set-up as a test/assessment, which I agree with, but I also believe the test can serve as the exercise.

If you’re new to this exercise and have weak glutes, do the two leg variation. There is more stability and a lower chance you’ll use your hamstrings. Place two kettlebells at the end of an exercise bench. Move to the end of the bench and form a 90-degree angle at your knees. Find neutral spine and gently brace your abs. Drive your heels into the handles of the kettlebells and lift your hips upward. You should feel a strong contracting in both glutes. As Pavel says, “Squeeze and break the walnut!” Hold for a few seconds and return to the starting positing.

I like performing one or two sets prior to my lower body workouts completing a total of 20-ish reps.

Once your glutes get strong together (e.g. bilaterally), it’s time to try the single leg version. Here, ensure your abs are braced so you don’t hyperextend your low back and so you can control the rotational torque applied to your pelvis/low back. You might notice a bit more hamstring activity in this version, but ensure you butt takes the brunt of the load. Follow the same instructions above but execute with one leg held in the air.

My hands are holding onto the bench so I don’t slide away from the kettlebells. They are not helping in the hip lift.

If you don’t have access to kettlebells, you can place two dumbbells on end.

Happy glute training!

-JK

photo credit: Steve Snodgrass via photopin cc

I chose JKC originally to help prevent rowing injuries. I’m a rower and we won the St. John’s Regatta in 2019 but I rowed through a rib stress fracture and missed significant time in the boat during the racing season. Training at JKC consistently since the pandemic helped me stay injury free this year and made me the strongest I’ve ever felt, which helped me help my team win the 2021 St. John’s Regatta! Jon adds variety and mixes the exercises up well so that the workout goes by quickly and strength is gained. The gym is very personable and I like the eclectic mix of people that are there. JKC is much more intimate and personal than other gyms.

I have never previously seen the passion and level of care that Jon and Thomas bring to everyone who works out at JKC. Their knowledge, insight and skills are extraordinary, and they work with everyone individually to ensure the best possible results. The attention to detail and to every person’s specific requirements and goals, and the incredible, constant encouragement they provide, is, in my opinion, what truly distinguishes JKC from any other program in which I’ve participated. I am extremely pleased with the progress I’ve achieved thus far, and it’s largely attributable to Jon and Thomas and the approach they take to training and working with people.

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I’ve always had upper back issues that became aggravated through work. I sought out other training and physio, but experienced little to no results. A client of mine happened to be coming to JKC for a similar issue and highly recommended it. I have had great success and haven’t looked back! I always feel like I’m getting programs tailored to my needs and I’m never bored. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now with my second child and have been able to workout through both pregnancies here at JKC. Even on my least mobile days, I felt safe to workout because my programs were specifically modified for my needs.

I’ve always struggled with both my weight and anxiety throughout my life. As a writer you live a pretty sedentary lifestyle filled with both realistic and unrealistic deadlines, so I needed something to get me off my butt and to get me moving. JK has been a godsend during this past year and a half in particular. The pandemic has been tough, but workouts with both Thomas and Jon have really helped reduce the stress and strain of a global pandemic, and added an anchor of normalcy back into my life — which has been worth its weight in gold.

JKC has created an incredibly inclusive environment that’s filled with all kinds of supportive folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. For folks like myself, being surrounded by people with such athletic ability can be intimidating in most gyms. It can actually be a deterrent, and it sometimes has been for me. But, at JKC it’s far from that — it’s inspirational. Everyone supports one another. Which is something that’s not easily found in this day and age, inside of a gym or out. Not to sound like a total cheeseball here, but it really feels like a family.

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