By Matiss Stein
Who doesn’t love hitting the gym with their new workout program only to find it is full of all of the most embarrassing exercises that could turn you a bright shade of red even in the comfort of your own home?
It’s true, a lot of exercises can be incredibly awkward to execute, but perhaps this article will convince you to add a few of them into your workout routine.
Let’s start with a few for the glutes!
For many, many, many years weight training has been strictly perceived as a man’s sport. Men are not too focused on growing their glutes but, now that women have joined the game, glute activation and glute isolation has become increasingly popular and has many benefits for both men and women.
It is so important to activate the glutes when going into a leg day workout in order to ensure you’ve got the attention of all of your muscles when you go into a squat or a deadlift – which will help you to lift heavier.
1. Glute Bridges: Exercise number one is the glute bridges. This is great for activating the glutes before a workout. You simply have to lie on the floor, with your ankles tucked up near your bum and your knees in the air (pointing up) and then thrust your hips into the air. It is important to ensure that your weight is equally distributed between your shoulders and your heels.
Turn up the burn by adding a resistance band or raise your feet onto a step block for a wider dip motion. You can also tilt your heels out and make your toes touch to really increase the booty burn.
Another variation (which can be even more awkward) is the hip thrust exercise. Set your upper back on a bench, place a barbell over your hips, keep your legs at 90 degrees and thrust your hips up to the ceiling. Sure, it’ll look like you’re humping the barbell but it is incredibly beneficial to your glutes – not even the squat can compare.
2. Clams: Clams, which can be done with resistance band, involve lying on your side with a bend in your legs and one leg on top of the other. Slowly open your top leg from the knee and rotate it out (ensure your top foot stays on the other foot), close your legs and repeat.
3. Fire Hydrants: Because what’s more awkward than looking like a dog that is about to pee?
Get onto your hands and knees with your hands at shoulder distance and your knees at hip distance. Now, lift your legs one at a time as though you were a dog trying to lift their leg on a fire hydrant.
Complete the glute bridges, clams, and fire hydrants in a superset to really engage all three glute muscles and you are guaranteed to lift heavier and, therefore, build more muscle. Man or woman, you cannot build strong legs without strong glutes.
4. Sumo Crab Walk: This exercise can be performed with or without a dumbbell. It involves maintaining a sumo-squat position while walking sideways like a crab.
It is guaranteed to give you a killer burn and it is great for getting the heartrate up in the middle of a workout. Unfortunately, it does involve a very awkward sight of you walking sideways with your bum sticking out behind you.
5. Sumo-Squat with Dumbbell: While we’re on the topic of sumo-squats, dumbbell sumo-squats are also a fairly awkward exercise many people would prefer to avoid.
The sumo-squat targets the inside of your thighs and is great for building strength and toning the legs, albeit a little bit uncomfortable to execute in the presence of a busy gym.
6. Dive Bomber Push-Ups: Dive-bomber push-ups will feel very weird the first few times you try them, but they’re an excellent way to step up from the standard push-up variations.
The only thing is that they begin in a downward dog position with your bum in the air and involve a dive down into a cobra position. This can spark a few stares but the benefits you will gain from changing up your push-up will be well worth the temporary embarrassment.
7. Calf Raises: People tend to shy away from calf raises in the gym because it is such a slight movement that many people don’t feel compelled to do it.
Calf raises are an incredibly beneficial calf-isolation exercise which should be incorporated into your workout regimen to really build up your calves. They don’t get much special attention during other exercises and deserve to be focused on.
8. Shoulder Shrugs: Grab some heavy dumbbells and shrug your shoulders?
This is another slight movement which may have you feeling a little silly the first few times you do it but it will create a significant burn in the shoulders and have you defined in no time.
9. Farmer’s Walk: Now you’re going to grab some heavy dumbbells and…walk?
Farmer’s walk involves you literally carrying dumbbells like a farmer would carry two pales of water. Do not underestimate the strength required by your entire body to be able to carry heavy dumbbells. This is a careful balance of arm strength, balance, and leg strength which all need to work in unison. Think of it as a killer full body movement you need to start doing.
10. Glute Pull-Through With Rope Attachment: Face away from the rope machine, bend between your legs, pick up the rope with a straight back and then pull the rope between your legs and squeeze your glutes.
This has to be one of the most awkward exercises one can do in a gym, and it takes a lot of courage to build up to it. But it’ll have your glutes growing in no time.
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Entering the gym for the first time, or trying to figure out how to complete a new exercise can be incredibly intimidating at first. It is important to wear a cap, listen to music, or do anything else to help to ignore the judgement of other gym goers who are probably just as lost as you are. Once you conquer your fears, you will be able to engage in all of the aforementioned exercises with pride which will have you growing muscle in no time.
Author Bio: Matiss Stein is a CEO and Founder of America’s best bodybuilding supplements website – TopTestosteroneBoosters.org . He is a health and fitness enthusiast. He wrote health and fitness related articles for numerous reputable sites like Huffpost, EvanCarmichael, MasterHerald, Get-a-Wingman, Lifehack etc… He is passionate about helping others reach their health goals through sharing his own personal experiences.