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Lift-backs

Strengthens and shapes the buttocks (gluteus maximus), back of the thighs, and the external rotators of the hip (small muscles deep inside that strengthen and stabilize the hip joint).

Equipment
A pole or back of the chair for balance and support. You can also use ankle weights or a thick rubber band around your ankles (the type kids use for slingshots) to increase the intensity of the exercise.

Exercise:

  1. While holding a pole or the back of a chair for balance and support, stand on your right leg, hips rotated slightly out.
  2. Bend your left leg to the side and cross the left ankle behind the right one. Tighten the abdominals.
  3. Keep the left leg bent and lift it behind you be squeezing the buttocks. Lean your torso slightly forward from the hips. Do not arch your back. Don't straighten the leg.
  4. Return the leg slowly to the starting position

Performance tips:

  1. To prevent your back from arching as you lift your leg behind, make sure the abdominal muscles are held in tightly.
  2. Start the movement by squeezing the buttocks rather than just jerking your leg behind you.
  3. Keep the standing leg slightly bent to prevent unnecessary pressure on your knee joint. It's also harder to keep your balance with a locked knee.
  4. If this bothers your lower back, avoid this exercise.

Repetitions:
Do 15 repetitions on one leg before switching to the other. This makes one set. Do one or two more sets.

Go to Common Exercises...