Jackie Wright: Train the Hips
June 7, 2012
Last week we highlighted the glute bridge/hip extension exercise which targets the posterior hip and this week we will provide you with several more hip strengthening exercises to add to your exercise program. Please take a moment and refer to last week’s preparation information before attempting any of the following exercises. Also, as always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Lateral/Medial Hip Exercises (targets the hip abductors/external rotators, the hip adductors/internal rotators, flexors/extensors)
Perform each of these exercises two-three non-consecutive days/week, 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions on both sides to a point of momentary muscle failure.
Unilateral Standing Hip Abduction
• Begin standing with the left hip next to a stable countertop/wall/chair, holding on with the left hand lightly.
• The head/neck/shoulders should be in neutral alignment, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and the pelvic floor pulled up and inward and the legs approximately shoulder distance apart.
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• The knees should be relaxed throughout the exercise. Shift the body weight into the left foot without leaning the body toward your support. The right leg should be “dead weight” with the foot relaxed.
• Engage the right hip abductors and abduct (lift) the right leg out to the side of the body approximately 45 degrees and then pull the leg back in from the hip joint without touching the floor.
• Tip: To add intensity, add ankle cuff tubing around the ankles or perform at the functional station of a multi-gym with the cuff around the outside ankle, then repeat on the other side.
Unilateral Standing Hip Adduction
Same set-up as hip abduction above.
However, you will now concentrate on the inside leg at the hip joint, in this case the left leg. Move the leg out to the left side away from the body approximately 45 degrees and then engage the inner thigh/hip on the left side moving the leg across to the midline of the body and back to the beginning position.
• Strongly stabilize so that you do not “drop” the inside hip as you move across to midline. Create a “sweeping” action as you come across the body.
• Tip: To add intensity, perform at the functional station of a multi-gym with the cuff around the inside ankle, then repeat on the other side. You may need an additional support such as a chair/stool held with the outside hand since the cable/pulley may create too much instability.
Hip Strengthening/Mobility (targets the entire hip joint)
• Perform front, side and back lunges preferably as a “wheel” (i.e. one front lunge, one side, two back and repeat sequence). Or, perform alternating squats; add knee/squats or hip abduction/adduction sweep squats or hip extension/squats.
• Tip: To add intensity, once you have mastered each exercise, attempt from an elevated step/bench, add upper body medicine ball presses, etc. or add resistive cuff tubing or bands to “resist” the movement. Perform all exercises slowly and controlled mastering meticulous form/technique throughout.
• Tip #2: Foam roll the hip fascia, around the hip joint (never on bone), to “iron” out the fascia and stretch all muscles of the hip joint regularly to maintain the active range of motion (AROM) at the hip.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.