Learn How to Properly Engage Your Glutes During These Key Exercises
One fitness coach points out a major butt exercise form faux pas, and it's definitely something you've seen all over Instagram.
Fitness isn't always pretty. Between awkward sore-leg waddling, ripped-open calluses, and early morning (read: bed face) workouts, there are plenty of gritty moments in everyone's fitness routine. The image of fitness presented on Instagram, however, is pretty glam.
That's why one nutrition and fitness coach is using her Instagram to point out a v important lesson: Sometimes, doing an exercise correctly means not looking "good" while you're doing it. Specifically, the fact that your butt should look kinda weird when you squeeze it.
Photo: Instagram @katiecrewe
"Not every exercise is flattering and sometimes they're straight-up unflattering, but doing it properly will not only yield better results but it will keep your body safer," wrote Katie Crewe, C.S.C.S., nutritional practitioner and health coach, on her Instagram. "I know a lot of people use videos on here as form demonstration, so I wanted to address some pretty common errors I see."
In the video, she demonstrated four moves that really require you to engage your core and activate your glutes—putting your spine in a neutral alignment vs. an anterior pelvic tilt (which you may recognize visually as a "booty pop").
When doing these exercises—the kettlebell Romanian deadlift, push-up, overhead press, and leg lifts—you want to make sure you're "creating a stiff, stable core to get stronger and protect your spine," she says. "For glute exercises, I promise you you'll see better results if you actually use your glutes. While the glute squeeze is not necessary for all exercises, for those where it's appropriate, your glutes straight-up won't contract properly when you're in an anterior pelvic tilt." Translation: If you're trying to maintain a "booty pop" (à la many fitness Instagrammers) while you're doing these moves (and, honestly, many others), you're not going to reap the rewards—and could also do some damage.
And if you've ever thought about lifting heavy, you definitely need to get this specific form tweak down pat first, or else you're putting yourself at risk for a serious injury: "My lower back was hurting just doing a couple reps of some of these with sub-maximal weight," writes Crewe. (FYI: Don't go crazy over-squeezing your glutes and hyperextending your back, because that can be dangerous too.)
"Learning proper form and not ingraining bad habits will serve you much better in the long term," she says—even if your butt doesn't look like a peach emoji the whole time.
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This article originally appeared on Shape.com