Often times people lose sight of why they started training in the first place. I like to think about training like a carpenter building a piece of furniture. The first thing you should know is what piece of furniture you want to build. Do you want to build a table, a chair, a wardrobe? Similarly, if you are training, are you training to get stronger, grow muscle, or to get faster?

After you know what you’re building, you need to identify what tools you have access to. Building a table is much easier if you have a buzz saw handy, so by the same logic, it’s much easier to develop your derriere if you can get to a gym with barbells and plates.

Sometimes the exercises we need to do to reach our goals are slightly embarrassing to perform in public. If you think you’re the only one who feels bashful doing certain moves in the gym, know that you’re not alone. We all feel weird about them at first.

At the same time, you should never avoid an exercise because it’s a little awkward —doing that just slows you down on your goals, and ideally, that should feel more awkward then displaying your crotch toward a crowded weight room during a hip thrust.

Barbell Hip Thrust

Sporting a big butt is awesome, but developing one can be awkward. A lot of glute isolation exercises are pretty awkward, however, the most awkward of them all is definitely the barbell hip thrust.

The barbell hip thrust stimulates significantly more growth to the glutes than either squats or deadlifts. This is because it isolates the main movement pattern of the glutes, i.e. hip extension, which is just an auxiliary function of both the squat and deadlift.

While this is a fantastic exercise for developing the glutes, because it looks like you’re having some fun with an invisible person, it is no doubt a little awkward. For this reason, I would recommend not making any eye contact with anyone while performing this exercise.

How to do a Barbell Hip Thrust

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To do a barbell hip thrust, sit on the ground and lean against a flat bench.

Lay the widest part of your shoulders across the bench for the most stability.

Roll a loaded barbell over your hips. Make sure to use padding between you and the barbell. A squat pad or a rolled-up yoga mat make excellent hip thrust pads, although in case of emergency you can also use a sweatshirt or towel.

Once the bar is rolled over you, walk your feet back while keeping them flat.

Point your toes slightly out, how far will depend on your individual anatomy, so experiment with what feels best.

Grab the bar wide with both hands and drive your hips up in the air to a full bridge, squeezing your glutes the entire time. Think about pushing the ground down and not back, which might cause the bench to slide back.

Neck Training

Neck training is one of those things that most of us should do, but we just can’t be bothered with it; kind of like washing out our recyclables before placing them in the bin. Your neck is like any other muscle in that it can be trained to get bigger and stronger. Your neck is your head’s support system, and your head is where your brain is so really, you should protect it. Especially if you play a contact sport like football, MMA, or hockey.

The problem is, neck training looks totally dorky. You have to attach a strange piece of equipment around your cranium, which looks like it was developed in the middle ages, and curl your head back and forth like you’re bobbing for apples. But while you may look goofy for a few minutes, neck training will also give you better aesthetics, and help prevent head injuries like concussions.

You can buy specialty neck training equipment like a chained head harness or simply use a heavy resistance band.

Anchor the band around a pole and wrap the band around your head.

Face toward or away from the anchor point laterally depending on what part of the neck you are training. While keeping the rest of your body still, push your head away, stretching the band and repeat.

Bear Crawls

As humans, crawling is the first exercise we ever do on our own. We do it before we can run, before we can squat, and before we can even walk. It is also the exercise that we stop doing first, despite many of its training benefits.

Crawling is a fundamental movement that engages most of the muscles of the body. It challenges the core and works the arms, chest, and legs, which makes it the perfect exercise for general strength development and conditioning.

While crawling around like a rugrat isn’t the most elegant way to get in shape, it is an effective one. People may also wonder why you have your face in the disgustingness that is a gym floor, which can make it a little awkward.

How to Do a Bear Crawl

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To do a bear crawl, get on all fours, belly down.

Align your hips with your shoulders so that someone could place a book on your back and it would be totally level.

Begin crawling forward, backward, or side to side.

Try to not rock your body back and forth, this will engage the core more and lead to better results.

If you did have a book on your back it should not fall off at any point.

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