Exercise “pulling the leg back in the machine” is correctly called “hip extension”. But whatever they call it in gyms, and “donkey kick”, and “glute swings”, and “swings in the crossover.” Be that as it may, this is one of the few isolation single-joint exercises for the buttocks, available even to people with joint and spinal injuries. The movement can be performed in several variations, it allows you to train without overloading the musculoskeletal system. What are the nuances of the exercise?
Benefits and disadvantages
Advantages of the movement:
- universal exercise. It can be performed both in a crossover and in a special machine “butt blaster”, and those whose gyms are not equipped with such machines can train with weights on their legs, use rubber shock absorbers for fitness, or perform an exercise with a leg bent at the knee and a dumbbell on fold. There is also a variation where the bar of a Smith machine is pushed with one foot. There are many versions, the movement is one – you unbend the hip at the hip joint;
- movement is not contraindicated for injuries of the lumbar spine, it can be used as an auxiliary for healthy athletes, or as the main one in rehabilitation;
- the exercise is available for beginners and advanced;
- can be used as a movement not only for the development of the gluteus maximus muscle, but also as an exercise for the hamstrings.
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Most will not be given the same “rounded appearance” of the buttocks simply because first you need to increase muscle mass, and then – to form separate muscle bundles. Exercise for some time can become the main one, but only if other work on the legs is performed, both aerobic and strength format. For example, a runner who runs more than 30 km per week and actively performs jumps and scissors in general physical training, this exercise is better suited as a single weighted movement than a girl who is panicky afraid to pump up her quadriceps and therefore only does hip extension.
Those who avoid developing the front of the thighs and strive to have “big buttocks on thin legs” sooner or later face knee pain and inflammation around the hip joints. Such training can also provoke a violation of posture. Therefore, one should abandon such experiments and perform a more balanced training load.
What muscles work
The main target muscle is the gluteus maximus. Additionally, the hamstrings are included. If the exercise requires stabilization of the core, the latissimus dorsi are also involved. In addition, the abdominal muscles keep the core in the correct position. The work may include the forearms, front deltas, round muscles of the back and pectoral muscles in static position, if the exercise is performed with support on the forearms or palms and knees.
Technique with emphasis on the knee
Butt blasters come in two flavors. One of them has a support for the abdomen, forearms and lower legs. Another requires doing the exercise while standing. In the first version, the technique is as follows:
- adjust the abdominal support so that it is comfortable to kneel;
- position the shins on the simulator cushions;
- rest your forearms on the palm rests;
- lean your ankle over the heel into a pillow or place your foot in an emphasis (depending on the design of the simulator);
- remove the safety stop with your hand or simply start moving your leg up, unbending the hip;
- achieve a significant contraction of the gluteus muscle;
- return to starting position.
Standing leg abduction technique
There may be several variations. If you are using a crossover, lock the body in an incline and grasp the handle of the machine with your hands. When using a specially designed buttock trainer for standing workout, do the exercise with your hands on the support cushion.
- Starting position – standing, fixing the crossover cuff on the leg (here we stand facing the simulator), or leaning against the support for hip extension;
- By extending the hip, lift your leg up, overcoming the resistance of the simulator;
- Move to the peak contraction of the gluteus muscle;
- When the peak is reached, slowly lower your leg to the starting position;
- Do as many reps as needed.