Workout of the Week 2.21.16-It’s All in The Hips


Let me begin by addressing a common debate. Does the flood of  booty-specific exercises help to build a solid pair of glutes? Or should you just squat, and stick to the basics? In my opinion, why one or the other? DO BOTH! Why must everything in the fitness industry be thought of as black and white? Why is everything an “or” statement? Sure, heavy compound lower body exercises should be the foundation of your approach, but if you want a solid seat cushion, you should implement hip-extension isolation exercises as well. I would suggest breaking your lower body into two different sessions. The first, a heavy compound day, where you focus on squats, dead-lifts, lunges, etc.. The second, an isolation, glute-focused day, where you implement the exercises in this weeks workout.

3 Important notes

 1. Stop trying to improve your butt during your cardio sessions, it has little-to-no impact on the development of the muscle. Plus, it will not only bring down the quality of the cardio session, but it will hinder your glute workouts as well. Therefore, you will fail at not one, but both of your objectives..

2. Do not over-emphasize the curve of your lower back to make your butt look bigger in everyday life or during your workout. Instead, keep a neutral spine. Your spine will thank you. (see image below)

3. “30 day squat challenges” are not going to cut it. Instead, go to the gym and weight train for a good bit of time. Want to build a butt? Try a “3o week challenge”.



Picture 1= NO


Cardiovascular machine- 5min-10min: I would suggest an elliptical or incline treadmill on a moderate resistance. Do not go overboard, because you do not want to hinder your lifting performance (aka, stairmaster)

Dynamic/mobility routine- 5-10 minutes: This routine should consist of multi-joint, large muscle group movements that favor/mimic that of the workout below. You should work on passive motions in the joints to a range of motion close to functional limits. Remember, this should be moderately intense, do not go overboard. Examples of this warm up can be found at the bottom of the page.

Light warm-up sets- 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps with very moderate weight. This will familiarize the movement, and bring blood to the lower body.

Working Sets

1. Dumbbell or barbell split squat: 4×15 each leg; 90s rest.

Set-up: You will need a set of dumbbells or a barbell, a bench/platform, and some coordination. Begin by standing about 2 feet out from the side of the bench, facing outward. Now, with confidence, reach back with one leg, and place your foot on the bench/platform behind you. If your distance and balance feel good, you are ready to begin. If not, do a few extremely small hops to re-position, or take your foot down,and repeat the

Dumbbell version

set-up from a better position.


Execution: You will begin the movement by moving your hips backwards and bending your knee. I typically tell my clients’ to “sit back towards the bench behind you”. With the weight almost completely distributed into the lead leg, lower until you reach parallel or lower. Then, pressing from your mid-foot, extend the hips, and rise to just before lockout of the knee; repeat.

Barbell version

Tips: I personally prefer using a barbell when doing this exercise, because I feel the shoulder placement emphasizes glute activation. However, for beginners and/or those less coordinated, dumbbells are the better and safer option.  To help keep balance, I typically insist on constant movement. Much like a bike, pausing will make you wobble. Lastly, if you feel a burn in the leg placed on the bench, find a shorter platform to fix it.


2a. Barbell hip-thrust: 3×10-20; no rest, super-set with next exercise.

Set-up: You will need a bench, a box, or a piece of equipment specifically designed for these (I-1). You will also need a barbell and a pad (for hips).  Begin by placing the very top of your back on

hip thruster

the bench, and sit on the floor. Then, roll the barbell over your legs until just above your hips. At this point, make sure and adjust your legs for an even stance.


Execution: Raise your hips slowly, until tight against the barbell. Grab and hold the barbell firmly to the spot that was once the crease of your bent hips. At this point, you should take a moment and place some tension into your heals, and make sure your back is at a neutral bend (see top of page). Then, thrust your hips upward until you reach a tight contraction in your glutes and hamstrings. Briefly pause and emphasize to contraction. Then, lower your hips (without bending your back!) downward until just before the starting position; repeat.

hip thrust
Barbell hip thrust

Tips: I would HIGHLY recommend introducing this exercise with no weight. This is so you can familiarize the correct mechanics, before adding the load and concentration that comes with barbell inclusion. You may also add a band to the hips and/or the knees to increase the intensity!

2b. Lateral band walks: 3×15 each direction; 90s rest.

Set-up: You will need a flat and wide, full-circled resistance band (I-2). I do not suggest a thin band, because it will wind up and/or move too easily. I do not suggest tying a band into a circle, because it will more than likely come apart (sketchy). You should also find an

res band

open area at your gym.

This is the tricky part. You must find a band that  will allow your feet to be as close as possible, with a tension level that doesn’t make it too hard to fully open your hips.

Execution: Begin by holding your arms in front of your body, as this will allow you to squat down without falling backwards. Then, bend at your hips until at a comfortable depth.Your back should be neutral, and your chest should be up. While keeping your knees pushed outward, step laterally in lateral band walkseither direction with one leg. Then, follow with the other leg. Repeat in the same direction until the reps are completed, and then reverse the direction in the same manner. You should maintain a constant depth for the entire duration.

Tips: This movement does not have to be your best squat depth, in fact, I would discourage that. Instead, go to a maintainable depth, which is usually just above parallel. You may do this exercise alternating from side-to-side if you have no adequate room, I just typically prefer the method mentioned earlier.

3a. Cable donkey kick: 3×15 each leg; superset with next exercise.

Set-up: You will need a low cable pulley, an ankle attachment, and a small platform for elevation (optional). Begin by placing one ankle in the strap, and standing on the platform with the other leg. Then, bend at your hips slightly, and grab something for stability purposes.

Execution: While keeping your body still, swing your leg backward and slightly outward (south east direction) During this motion,

donkey kick.jpg
Donkey kickback

your knee should be slightly bent, and your hips should remain facing forward. The movement should continue until you feel a solid squeeze in your glutes and hamstrings. Then return back to just before the starting position; repeat.

Tips: Most people over-do the range of motion. There is no need to twist your hips, rotate your leg, bend all the way over, etc. The benefits of these extra add-on movements are targeted efficiently in the other exercises. Stick to hyper extension of the hip

3b. Lumbar extension: 3×12-20 reps; 90s rest.

Set-up: You will need the equipment shown (I-3), or be creative (partner, bosu ball,ext.). Start by setting the pad to the top of your

lumbar ext.jpg

thigh/crease of your hip. Feet should be tight to the platform and flat.

Execution: Begin by forming a neutral spine, and bracing your core. Then, slowly lean forward with all of the movement coming from your hips. Not your back, your hips. The depth of this movement  varies from person-to-person (see tips). Then, with force created by your legs (not your back), raise your body back to that starting position and conract your glutes/hamstrings. DO NOT hyper extend your back (I-4). Repeat.

Tips: An easy way to determine your proper depth, is to have someone watch you from the side.

Glute-ham raise

Tell them to cue you when your hips stop their movement and the back begins rolls inward. You may also hold a weight while doing this exercise.

lumbar no no.jpg

This concludes the workout. Glute-focused days are great to pair with hamstring, calves, and quads.


  • Do 1-2 stretch variations for each major body part
  • 3-5 repetitions per stretch
  • 10-20s second hold each
Legs, Groin & Hips Stretches 001
Click to enlarge


Use a dense foam roller/ softball to loosen and release tension that may have resulted from the high volume above.





You had another healthy workout.


Kyle Blair, BS Exercise Physiology, CPT

An Interview With Megan “Megmo” Morat

Megan is easily one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Never in my life have I come across someone with such a lethal combination of optimism, energy, and raw bluntness. Her most noteworthy presence is on Instagram, where she inspires over 32,000 people daily. Megan isn’t your typical “fit chick” on Instagram, she is something far more genuine. In fact, despite her large quantity of comments, she will more than likely reply to each and every person. Megan and I have a past, and with that, I can say firsthand that she is the exact image she portrays.  So, if you are ever feeling less than worthy, or under the weather, just read one of her captions. The “word vomit”, as she calls it, will leave you with laughter, and a greater sense of self-love. Here is what she had to say about some important topics; enjoy.

1. The one and only, Megan “Megmo” Morat, thank you formegan 2taking the time to do this interview! Just to start things off lightly, could you give the readers some basic information about yourself?

I honestly don’t believe in telling people about me, I like them to develop their own thoughts about who I am by my words and actions that don’t directly describe who I am. Sounds like a complete cop out, but I’m really constantly redefining myself, discovering more about myself and living in the belief that I am here for a purpose. I’m a 26 year old who has a pretty obvious passion for fitness, wiener dogs, my friends and family, mental well-being and living my life with a purpose. I have a job working for Lululemon which has helped me tremendously in setting and crushing goals for myself; I also do freelance graphic design work on the side for quite a few clients and I genuinely enjoy the work I do for them. So really, I guess I could say that my jobs aren’t really jobs or work. Other than that I like to spend my time with the people I love, strengthening myself inside and out.

 2. You are really big into the fitness lifestyle. What is your current workout split? Favorite body part to lift? Favorite exercise?

     I don’t really have a set split. Coming from a hyper organized person myself, I find it odd that I really don’t megan.PNGgo off of a particular schedule. I do, however, try to split my leg days into two workouts per week – one focusing on quads and glutes and the other solely glutes and hamstrings. Otherwise I listen to my body as best as I can and decide from there what I’d like to work out that day. I typically take 2-3 rest days per week, sometimes more or less depending on my schedule and the way I feel. My favorite exercise is squats for sure! Hip thrusts and lat –pull downs in close second and third. I love the feeling of my muscles contracting, it’s euphoric and also one of those indescribable feelings that make you want to scream in a fit of joy, pain and pleasure. We all know those are typically good feelings…and that escalated quickly. Moving on!

 3. Supplements are very popular in the fitness industry, with thousands of different products and companies, which brands and types of supplements do you currently take? Why?

I just use my Slap Nutrition products. I’m into simplicity and I don’t believe any supplement is “magical” by any means. You have to put in work to see results, no supplement replaces that. There’s so much bull shit regarding supplements and shenanigans these days, it’s actually entertaining. But hey, if you think it works for you then by all means, invest in it. I truly believe that investing in good food and a gym membership is more beneficial, though. I also always forget to take pills unless they’re dangling in front of my face, so there’s that.

     I enjoy Slap because their ingredients are clean and they don’t upset my digestive system nor does the pre-workout make me feel like I’m going to go postal when I hit the gym. Shameless plug: use my code MEGMO on anything from if you want a discount. I highly recommend the Pumpkin Spice Preworkout and Peanut Butter Whey! The Salted Caramel BCAA’s are also new and delicious, so I can throw those in the loop too.

4. You currently have a really busy life. From working full time at Lululemon, to freelance graphic design work. Yet, you make time to regularly workout, eat well, and even compete in bikini competitions. What would you tell people who constantly claim “I don’t have enough time to do that stuff” or “I would if I had time!”.

Make your passions a priority. If your passions don’t involve those things, you naturally aren’t motivated or incline to make time for them. If you genuinely want to live a healthy lifestyle (whatever that means for you), find something that you’re going to enjoy and look forward to doing. Make it a habit, not a chore. But also remember that you don’t have to feel guilt or shame if you don’t enjoy working out, just keep in mind you can be perfectly healthy without the gym. Play with your kids, dance, go on a walk, clean the house or go shopping. I think what some people don’t realize is that you don’t have to go balls to the walls, compete, etc. to be considered healthy.


5. Social media has created a medium of worldly interaction, while this has its advantages, it has also a created number of problems. As someone who has a big influence in social media, 31,000 followers big, what advice could you give to others in terms of self-esteem, self-dignity, and creating a true self-image?

Stop trying to fit into a mold. You are constantly experiencing life; thus you are learning growing, changing and you’re never going to fit into this mold. You are completely up to you. It’s ok to redefine yourself at every moment, just be honest and open minded as you expect others to be for you. Things do not happen to you, they happen from what you create. Suffering from the destruction of your own dignity and self-esteem is optional, your happiness is a choice and a decision you need to make every single day. Remember that. Also, pop dat booty.

6. It’s no secret that today’s society has put a lot of pressure for females to be perfect. This can cause self-image problems that can lead to eating disorders and a slew of other psychological issues. As someone who has experienced similar issues, and recovered, what advice could you give someone with similar struggles?

Show up to your life everyday and realize that you have to fight. We all have demons; we have a choice and a personal responsibility on how we deal with these demons. For me, being completely open and honest about my struggles and triumphs has been a huge help for me because it makes me realize that I’m not fighting alone, I am only a human and it’s ok to have shit moments, shit days, but it’s not ok to wallow in them. Reframe, refocus and fuck shit up because life is awesome and it’s fun when you live it.

7. Last question, I promise. Your future is very promising. Are there any big accomplishment’s you have made lately? Anything big coming up for you?

 I have plans to travel to NYC and Chicago soon, for some freelance design work. I am also going to be putting a greater focus on developing my website. Oh, and I have a hot guy cooking me dinner on Valentine’s Day.

megan pic




Want more of Megan? Here you go.

Instagram: Megmo7

Megan’s website: Here


Feel free to check out my website too!

Features include:

Services include:


Kyle Blair – CPT- BS Exercise Physiology

Owner of #Kblairfitness

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