Wright – Three Great Hip Extension Exercises
Grand County, Colo.
(Second in a two-part series)
Last week we highlighted standing hip extensions as the first of three great hip extension exercises. This week, we will feature two more to include in your workout arsenal. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
This an isolation exercise that targets the gluteus maximus/hamstrings as the primary movers but will also create engagement of the core and hip abductor muscles as stabilizers.
Therefore, you will feel the hip abductor muscles on the stationary side, which is working isometrically to stabilize your position and support your body weight. Consequently, do not be surprised if you experience fatigue in the stationary side at the hip joint, particularly the outer/upper hip. This is a great benefit to this exercise since the hip abductor muscles work functionally as stabilizers.
• Begin kneeling on the floor with the elbows directly underneath the shoulder joint, palms flat on the floor and the knees approximately shoulder-distance apart.
• The thighs should be parallel to one another, the shoulders back/down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled toward the spine throughout the exercise engaging the core muscles.
• The neck and shoulders should be a natural extension of the spine while you are looking at the floor throughout the exercise.
• Transfer the body weight to the left hip/leg and to the arms without permitting the body to “lean” to the left side.
• Never permit your lower spine to hyperextend particularly as you extend the hip.
• Engaging the right glutes/hamstrings, lift the right leg, which is flexed 90 degrees at the knee joint throughout the exercise, toward the ceiling until the thigh is parallel to the floor.
• Then, lower the leg until it becomes parallel to the left thigh.
• Perform two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions, slow and controlled, two to three times per week on each hip.
• Once you have mastered this exercise, to increase the intensity, you may add a light-moderate dumbbell behind the knee joint.
Roll Outs – Stability Ball (55-65cm ball): This is a multi-muscled hip extension exercise which targets the gluteus maximus/hamstrings while you are engaging the gastrocnemius/soleus (i.e. calf muscles). The core muscles work as powerful stabilizers in this exercise to keep the hips lifted off of the floor maintaining a glute bridge.
• Begin lying supine (i.e. face up) on the floor with a stability ball placed underneath your heels and right up against your buttocks.
• Shoulders back/down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled toward the spine, engage the glutes/hamstrings by clenching the buttocks together as though you have a quarter between the buttocks, lifting the buttocks to hip height forming a glute bridge.
• Then, press the stability ball out until the legs are fully extended, keeping the heels on top of the ball throughout.
• Return the ball to the beginning position maintaining the glute bridge, flexing the legs at the knee joint to approximately 90 degrees.
• Repeat this sequence for two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions, slow and controlled, two to three times per week.
Next week, we will begin a series of summer sports preparation programs.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com
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