If you've been following along, you'll know that I, like many women my age, am infected with the dreaded SOWWA (sagging old-white-woman's ass.) When I was a young girl, my butt was a work of art--not that I appreciated it at the time. But somehow, somewhere along the way, it all went horribly wrong. This reached its apex last winter when, having lost probably a little too much weight, I realized I was not filling out the back of my jeans anymore. As I like to say whenever I reference this, TRAGIC.
That was part of the impetus to bulk. Build some glutes, yo! It's been coming along, I think. The jeans are snugger in the right places these days. Squatting helps. But, of course, there are always other things one can do. Bret Contreras, aka The Glute Guy, is a big proponent of the weighted glute bridge or hip thruster.
Believe me, I have tried to find a way to do these in the gym. It's not like I myself have any shame. SLDLs (or RDLs***) with my back to the rest of the male-dominated gym****? No problem. Yoga hip openers that occasionally look like something out of the kama sutra in the stretching area? No problem. Why would lying on my back on the floor thrusting my pelvis up embarrass me? C'mon now. The problem is that there's no room in our weight room to do these with a barbell, I can't really figure out how to get the bar all the way down and get under it in our (apparently mutant) Smith machine, and every other solution (plates or kettlebells on my pelvis) isn't enough weight for me to feel like I am doing anything. My glutes may be a shadow of their former selves, but they're actually still pretty strong. It's a thick group of muscles!
Well, let me tell you. A couple weeks ago while I was walking around the entire periphery of the weight and cardio and stretching areas doing my farmer's walks, I saw a woman using a machine that I had never realized we even had. In my defense, it's near the Bad Girl machine, and while I have no shame, I do have enough dignity not to go near that. (Besides, I pretty much "sumo" everything. My adductors need no additional help, thanks.) The machine the lady was using was a glute press. "Oh!" I said to myself, "These dumbbells I'm carrying around are friggin' heavy." No, no, no. Actually I said to myself, "Oh! I wanna try that!" And since I have, it's become my new favorite thing. I can barely restrain myself to using it only two times a week on leg days.
I looked at a lot of video online trying to find one that looks exactly like our glute press and I couldn't. Apparently, it is as mutant as our Smith machine. But this comes pretty close.
The other day I did a couple sets at 100 lbs after squatting and I felt pretty close to puking. Good times! I am, however, convinced that, contrary to my previous post, this contraption and its judicious application will overcome time, my genetics, (and possibly the laws of physics) and give me Ines Sainz's ass. Please don't disillusion me.
***I still have no idea whether the exercise I am doing is an SLDL or an RDL. Liz taught it to me as a stifflegged deadlift but some things I've read online disagree and call it a Romanian deadlift. I start at the top and don't go all the way to the ground. Whatever that is really called, that's what I'm doing.
****When Liz first taught me these (with 20lb dumbbells...awwww), she said that when taking her personal training course in order to get Y certified, she had to "teach" two different exercises and this was one that she picked. Apparently the instructor, while fine with her technique and coaching, cautioned her that some women would be uncomfortable doing these because it involved bending over in front of other people (i.e. maybe guys.) Oh, we laughed and laughed.