Breaking it Down: Glutes & Hammies

I’m a group fitness instructor at a university rec center and you wouldn’t believe the amount of girls that come up to me after class saying how much they would love to lift weights but are too intimidated or afraid. This is such a valid reason to be hesitant! Even after years of lifting, it can still spark a little anxiety when trying something new or being surrounded by guys who look at you like your trespassing on holy ground. A lot of the anxiety comes from not knowing how to perform moves with the correct form and fear of getting hurt, which is why I am starting this new segment on my blog! I’m going to break down some of my favorite basic moves and hopefully give you a little more confidence to hit the weight room!



  1. Make sure the bar height is about as tall as your lips or nose 
  2. Your first set should be with no weight, so don’t worry about loading the bar yet! (bar=45 lbs)
  3. For later sets when you do load the bar make sure you use clips on the end!!


  1. Feet should be hips width apart 
  2. Grip the bar, lower your head under, and raise up until the bar is resting on the meaty part of your back under your shoulders
  3. When you feel comfortable lift up on the bar so it is off the rack and take a step backwards
  4. Lift your head and chest up keeping a neutral spine, eyes straight forward
  5. Engage your core, squeezing your belly button into your spine
  6. Inhale as you lower down, make sure your knees are stacked on top of your toes or behind (if you take a video from the side you will be able to see if your knees go over your toes) 

**if you are having trouble with this think about sitting in a chair

7.  Exhale as you push up through your heels and squeeze your glutes at the top 



  1. Bring a flat bench up to your weight rack and place it horizontal to the rack
  2. Take the bar off the rack carefully and place it on the ground in front of the bench
  3. Try to find bumper weights so you can use less weight when you first start out (I would start with 10 lbs on each side so your body gets used to the movement)
  4. Clip the weights in 
  5. Get a bar pad or a mat for support on the pelvis to place under or around the middle of the bar


  1. Sit on the floor so that your back is resting on the side of the bench 
  2. Roll the bar all the way up to your pelvis area
  3. Bend knees and get a good stance on the floor with your feet 
  4. Grip the bar on both sides of the pad 
  5. Push up into a bridge with the bar resting on your hips (you can use your elbows to push up on the bench behind you)
  6. Slide down the bench if you need to so that you are resting on the bench just under your shoulder blades
  7. Keep your back and neck straight 
  8. Inhale to lower and exhale to push through the heels and raise your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing the glutes and hamstrings at the top
  9. Remember to lower from the hips!



  1. Find dumbbells that are heavy but not pulling your shoulders forward 


  1. Your arms are dead weight, the dumbbells should be resting at your sides with your shoulders rolled back and your chest open
  2. Bring one foot back and to the side a little (your feet should feel like they are on narrow train tracks, they shouldn’t be right behind each other)
  3. Keep your hips in line with the mirror or wall in front of you 
  4. Engage your core and bend to create two 90 degree angles with your knees and the floor 
  5. The front knee should stay behind the front toe just like in the squat 
  6. Inhale to lower and exhale to push up through the heels 

Leave a comment if this helped or if you would like more posts like this!

spread smiles,



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