5 Crucial Strength-Training Exercises To Work Into Your Routine

Has winter diminished every last ounce of workout motivation you have? Don’t worry, we’re all struggling. Luckily, we’ve got a solution to help get you up off your couch — no matter how low the temperatures might dip.
As part of 29Rooms — Refinery29’s funhouse of style, culture, and technology — we teamed up with L.A.-based trainer Natalie Yco, creator of award-winning program Best Butt Ever, to teach a workout class inspired by the adidas UltraBOOST X All Terrain, your new go-to running shoe that's perfect for every season. Ahead, we’re breaking down Yco’s five best strength-training moves from the class, to help change up your workout routine and get you motivated.
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Photographed by Jordana Sheara Photography.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Doing a glute bridge with just one leg (as opposed to both) allows you to notice any potential muscle asymmetries or imbalances, as one side may be weaker than the other.
How To
1. Lie on your back and draw your knees up, so your feet are flat on the floor (you can optionally place a band above the knees for light resistance).
2. Extend one leg out in front of you, keeping the other knee in the bent position.
3. Pushing off from the floor with the foot that is planted, raise your hips up towards the ceiling, making sure to engage your core and your glute on the side you’re pushing through.
4. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then repeat on the opposite side.
Photographed by Jordana Sheara Photography.
Banded Lateral Walks
Lateral Walks are great for strengthening and stabilizing your hip abductors. Weak hips can contribute to injuries in the lower leg.
How To
1. Place a band above the knees for light resistance. Shift it below the knees for medium resistance or around the ankles for greater resistance.
2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. The band should be taut but not stretched.
3. Bend your knees slightly and move into a half-squat position to activate the gluteus medius.
4. Keep your feet in line with your shoulders and your toes forward. Do not allow your toes to turn outward. Your body weight should be evenly distributed over both feet. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
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Photographed by Jordana Sheara Photography.
Lunge Stretch
A lunge stretch is one of the most crucial stretches you can do before or after a workout. Tight hip flexors can inhibit the firing of glute muscles.
How To
1. Step forward, and lower your back knee. Keep your front knee over your ankle.
2. Yco recommends squeezing your butt cheek on the side you're stretching to feel your hip flexors open up more.
3. Hold for at least 30 seconds on each side.
Photographed by Jordana Sheara Photography.
Walking Plank To Balance Plank
Having a strong core helps support your torso, particularly if you’re a runner — it’ll help you run longer and faster.
How To
1. Start by lying on your stomach, and prop your weight on your forearms and toes.
2. Keep a straight line from your head to your feet, and hold this position for the entire exercise, making sure your abs, glutes, and lower back are engaged.
3. Next, simultaneously move your right arm and right leg to the right twice. Follow with your left arm and left leg.
4. Push up to a high plank, and simultaneously raise your right arm and left leg. Follow by raising your left arm and right leg.
5. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then lower and repeat.
Photographed by Jordana Sheara Photography.
Banded Deadlifts
Deadlifts help your posterior muscles — like hamstrings and glutes — which help propel us forward and are necessary to achieve good speed and stability while running. Deadlifts can also help with core strength and stability.
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How To
1. Place the band above your knees.
2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
3. Hinge at the hips with weight in your heels, keeping your back flat.
4. Push your knees slightly out against the band to further activate your glutes.
5. Push through your heels and engage your glutes as you return to the standing position. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
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