Stability and strength

Continuing with last week’s post on hip mobility, this week we are focusing on stability and strength in the hip. Once you’ve gone through your HIP MOBILITY and you begin to gain mobility in the hips we need to start building stability on your new found mobility.

The hip has to accept and move a lot of force and because of that the hip needs to be strong and stable. We also believe that the hips are a critical part of your core and maintaining strength here is imperative to keeping your back healthy. Strong glutes help hold you up and strong hip rotators help maintain stability in your hips. These set of hip muscles will take some of the burden off of your low back musculature and can greatly reduce your chance of back pain.

For those of you who might be doing more advanced movements and heavy lifting, these exercises are great primers. Each of these can be used as warm up or accessory work to keep the hips stable and strong.

Below are some basic exercises specifically for hip strength. These exercises will target the musculature all the way around the hip. When doing these exercises, we want to make sure that you maintain a neutral spine. This means maintaining the natural curve in your back and trying not to round or arch during the exercise, but instead focus on moving from the hip!

 

Bridges: This is a great basic glute and hamstring exercise. In the video you’ll notice you can do it double leg or single leg. There is also a variation called the “Frog” bridge, which brings the feet together and the hips into slight external rotation to try and facilitate more glute during the bridge.

Banded KFO: This exercise challenges the rotators of your hip, which help maintain stability at the joint as well as challenge the external rotation you have at the hip. Be sure to keep the non-moving leg as stable as possible while the other leg is moving. The focus here is to be able to move slow and controlled as you challenge the motion.

Supine Hip Flexor March: Lying on your back with a band around the feet you will start with the legs elevated. Push one leg straight out as you hold the other leg in a bent position. This will challenge the glute on the straight leg and the hip flexor on the bent leg. The higher toward the ceiling your press the easier, the lower to the ground the harder to maintain stability.

Band Walks: This has quickly become a favorite hip exercise for a lot of people. Put the band around the knees (easier) or ankles (tougher). Try to keep the toes facing forward and the knees straight for this variation. As you step to the side be sure to keep your torso upright and not waddle like a penguin.

Adductor Slide: Using a washcloth on a tile or hard wood floor start in a standing position. Put one foot on the towel and slide that foot outward. Now try to pull that foot back in using the towel to help you slide. Notice how you keep your weight over the non-moving leg.

These are a handful of basic hip exercises that you should be able to start doing to not only strengthening your hips, but help take the burden off of your low back. They can also be used as great primers for bigger movements, such as plyometrics, Olympic lifts or prepping for sport.

If you have any questions about these exercises, please let us know! This is not a substitution for seeking out a clinician if you have low back pain or hip pain. If you have pain, we recommend seeking out a clinician in order to properly assess the source of your pain.

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