Get your glutes fired up and ready to go before you hop into the shower.
When you step out of your front door in the morning, what kind of step do you take? Is it a purposeful stride? Or a weary stumble?
Beyond how much you’re dreading your day at work, a clipped gait might have everything to do with glutes that are still asleep. The frankly massive muscles in your rear can be criminally underused, especially if you happen to work in an office where their primary use is as a not particularly comfortable cushion. So when we were introduced to trainer Shona Vertue’s workout videos for AXA PPP Healthcare, we were immediately drawn to the glute session.
It’s a short, simple routine that cycles through a circuit of squats, glute bridges, leg extensions and reverse lunges twice. The first three moves use a resistance band, but all the exercises can be done as bodyweight moves while you wait for the set you just bought online to be delivered.
The glutes workout is one of three options – the others are a yoga session and a HIIT kettlebell and yoga combo. All are designed to get you going in the morning. You could, of course, slip them in during your lunch break or even after work, but AXA PPP’s recruited Vertue to spread the good word about exercising before you make it to your job.
A paper in the International Journal Of Workplace Health Management found that of 201 volunteers in the study, 74% reported that they felt better at managing their workload on the days they exercised before or during work. Vertue has her own, less scientific but no less compelling, reasons for fitting in a sweat session before your morning session. “It’s 6pm, you said you would leave work to get a workout in, but a new deadline slides into your inbox. You’re caught in that all-too-familiar dilemma of the corporate world: to work or to workout? That is the question… Had you worked out in the morning, you wouldn’t be in this situation and that’s the reason that I prioritise working out first thing in the morning.
“And it’s better than starting your day with technology or social media. It can be very tempting to wake up and have a scroll, but exercising will really help to boost focus and lift your mood for the day ahead.”
And as these 15-minute workouts show, you can get the benefits without waking up at some godawful hour.
Shona Vertue’s Glute Workout
Video of Glute workout for sitting down days | #MyFlyingStart with Shona Vertue
Each part of this workout is done on a 45/15 split. Work for 45 seconds, then spend the next 15 seconds getting ready for the next exercise. Do the moves in order, repeating the circuit twice in total.
Warm up for one minute by jumping, hopping and/or jogging on the spot. Then do a set of unweighted squats and reverse lunges.
Time 45sec Rest 15sec
Take a large resistance band, fold it in two, step through the middle and wrap it around the tops of your knees. As you squat, the band will try to force your knees in so use your glutes to keep your knees pressed out. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing out. Bend your knees to lower down, pushing your hips back and keeping your chest up. Push through your heels to stand back up.
Banded glute bridge
Time 45sec Rest 15sec
Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, loop one end of the band around your heel, bring the band over your hips and then loop the other end around the other heel. Lift your hips using your glutes until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Lower slowly back to the start and repeat.
Time 45sec each side Rest 15sec
Loop the band around your right heel and hook both your thumbs around it. On your hands and knees, extend your right leg straight back, then return to the start. Work for 45 seconds on your right leg, then switch to your left.
Alternating reverse lunge
Time 45sec Rest 15sec
Stand with your hands on your hips. Take a big step back with one leg while leaning forward with your upper body, bending your knees to lower your body until your back knee touches the ground. Return to standing, then repeat with the other leg.
Written by Jonathan Shannon for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.