You squat, you lunge, you squat some more and yet that glute/ham tie-in area remains undefined.
Some of you might be scratching your heads right now, thinking, "I never read about a ‘tie-in’ muscle in Oxygen”… and you’re right: the glute/ham tie-in is not an actual muscle that you can ID on an anatomy chart with a laser pointer. It’s that frustrating little part of your flip side where the top of your hamstrings meet the bottom of your glutes, right under your cheeks, so to speak. It’s where many women carry that last bit of stubborn bodyfat, and is decidedly difficult to target.
But there are plenty of moves that can work this area, but(t) good. Do this workout up to twice a week using a moderately heavy weight to ensure tissue breakdown and fatigue. If you’re more advanced, use the Make it Harder moves for an additional challenge. Try this program for 4 to 6 weeks, and make that glute/ham tie-in an area of pride.
Setup: Stand with your back to a flat bench and hold a set of dumbbells at your sides. Extend one leg behind you and place it, laces down, on top of the bench.
Move: Bend your standing leg and drop straight down toward the floor, descending until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Press through your heel and rise back to the start. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Tip: Keep your torso erect at all times; don’t tilt forward over your knee.
Make it Harder: Try it with a barbell across your shoulders, or holding a plate straight up overhead.
Setup: Stand next to a flat bench or plyo box that is about knee height and hold a set of dumbbells at your sides.
Move: Place your entire foot on top of the bench, then extend your leg to stand up onto the bench. Step off with the same leg, then either continue with your reps on the same side, or alternate legs, as is your preference.
Tip: Don’t push off your trailing leg; try to make the stepping leg do all the work to hit the hams and glutes the hardest.
Make it Harder: As you stand up, bring your knee through to the front and raise it to hip height to challenge your balance and work your abs and hips.
Setup: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees unlocked but not bent. Hold a barbell in front of you with an overhand grip and draw your shoulders back.
Move: Keeping a flat back, hinge from your hips and fold forward slowly, pushing your hips backwards as you drop the barbell straight down toward the floor. At the bottom pause and feel a stretch in the back of your legs and hips, then rise slowly back to the start, pressing your hips forward and squeezing your glutes at the top.
Tip: Pull your shoulder blades together and pin them there to help keep your back flat.
Make it Harder: Perform with one leg at a time, or stand on top of a BOSU to challenge your balance and your core.
Setup: Lie face-up with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor, knees bent. Extend your arms along your sides.
Move: Press your hips up toward the sky, keeping your knees straight and your head neutral. When your hips align with your knees, pause and squeeze before slowly lowering back to the start.
Tip: Try to keep your back straight – don’t arch it – and move your torso as one unit up into the air.
Make it Harder: Try it with your heels on a stability ball, hold a dumbbell across your hips, or do it one leg at a time.