Functional Butt and Hamstring Workouts – Pendulum Squat


Functional Butt and Hamstring Workouts – Pendulum Squat

Here’s a squat variation to help you develop your glutes and hamstrings in a context that applies to real life. If you have followed me for a while and are familiar with how I train, you might notice I do not follow tradition very well, especially when it comes to how I train. I do not follow a program oriented around traditional lifts (bench pressess, deadlifts, backsquats, etc.). Although those were exercises I used in my origins as a fitness professional, as I transitioned into being an integrated movement practitioner I realized their benefit was minimal in regards to what you would actually use in reality. It is very easy to assume that a bench press or deadlift could apply to real life, but at the same time we also have to ask if improving that one exercise will also be detrimental in other functional movements. From my estimation, those types of traditional lifts will inhibit the function of many other types of movement humans do in reality. Ofcourse, if Functional Patterns was not available to me at this given moment, traditional lifts would be the way to go. However, since FP is available, I use exercises like the one in the video above.

The Pendulum Squat is a move I’ve been doing for the last 6 years and it’s at the foundation of progression for everyone I train. It trains the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, etc.) in a fully loaded range of motion, where as a deadlift only trains the posterior chain through the eccentric phase of movement. The swing created by the dumbbell acts as a force that will keep the pressure on the glutes for the times you would use them most in reality. Beyond developing the glutes and hamstrings in a functional context, the pendulum squat teaches you summation of forces, center of gravity, dynamic equilibrium and it can act as an aid to improve shoulder mobility coming over head. Although it’s fairly complicated, it’s a must have if you’re looking to move and feel better in this world for a long time.

I cover this technique in depth in my Training for Humans Workout System. Many ask me what my alternatives are for the traditional, and I typically just tell them to go to my youtube channel because I have many examples of an alternative. With that said, I go into an in depth analysis on the “Training for Humans” program and explain the fundamentals so that people have an awareness of how to execute the movements to their best ability. If you’re interested in mastering the alternative to the insanity sold in the fitness industry and finding a permanent solution for your fitness confusion, it is suggested you check out that set of videos.

Treating the roots of problems, not the symptoms,




  1. bruk May 12, 2014 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Nice ballistic exercise for posterior chain. Do you prefer the two dumbells over a kettlebell to keep both upper and lower extremities in the sagittal plane? I can imagine some good variations with single-dumbell or split-stance or even single-leg positions.

  2. Jim Bates May 12, 2014 at 11:17 am - Reply

    HI Naudi,
    I have been following you for 6 months or so. I was immediately intrigued with your movements and focus on posture and walking. (basic biomechanics/kinetic chain) which is where I am going with my clients. I started out with crossfit but i knew my knowledge was very limited. i just received my NASM cpt which was helpful. I am a self studier and continue to read biology/science and anatomy. I would love to learn from you more of the correction of posturing for my members. Do you offer technical training or can you send me to resources? Thank You
    Do you offer training?

  3. Daniel peckham May 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Dear Naudi, my name is Daniel a have been following you for some time now, i first heard about you in Tenerife where I did my first foot steps in the fitness world… Now based in Malaga (southern spain) my interest in growing as a profesional is bigger than ever. I constantly look out for good education ( i missed your corse with orthos) but i still have the hope to assist one day in the near future to one of your corses.
    I am an NSCA-CPT , IFBB coach, and have done varous corses with Hector Garcia about functional training and corrective exercises. I would very much apreciatte you advice or recomendations as well information about future seminars you will doing…
    Thank very much for you time. Hope to meet you soon. Daniel

  4. Dave Atkins May 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Which of you videos/teachings/writing would you recommend I purchase/look at first?

    I work on my own without a great deal of luxury of the experience of other Personal Trainers/Fitness Professionals. I have a strong interest in how the body should be used correctly, starting with understanding correct pelvic position.

    I have followed you for a while and recently answered your questionnaire regarding the possibility of training with you. Although I am still waiting for a reply (and do hope you received my initial response/answers) I am not essentially concerned about that here. I just really admire what you say and how you present it. Alot of this is a big and new learning curve for me, which I hope to understand fully overtime. At the moment I get it, but would like to know I am understanding certain areas correctly.

    I would be grateful for any response.

  5. Haydee May 13, 2014 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Naudi, I would like to train with you…is that possible?

  6. roxanne sullivan March 18, 2015 at 6:13 am - Reply

    What would you recommend for one person that gets lower back pain from performing the squat?
    And another that gets knee pain?

  7. Katy March 17, 2016 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    I like the intelligence you bring to teaching these techniques. I’m a yoga teacher with over 25 yrs of practice and I try to teach similarly; with intel whence! I can’t help seeing how similar this is to utkatasana, just with added weights. Have you ever worked within a yogic disapline?

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