As I mentioned in my last post, Keeping your hips strong, here is the follow up article with additional, more advanced exercises you can do to build stronger hips. Having strong hips help us in many ways as the hip muscles are necessary for almost all the movement that involves the lower body.
If you are an athlete, or very active person strong hip muscles are especially important.
Supine Position Hip Flex: You’ll need exercise bands for this one. Sit on your floor with your legs together, out in front of you. Now put the band around both feet close to the ankle. Lay on your back, and keeping one leg straight, bring the knee of the other leg towards your chest. Carry out 10 – 12 reps on one side, then switch to the other side. Try to do this for 3 – 4 sets.
If you find this too easy, you need to switch out your band for a more resistant one.
Knees to Chest: For this exercise, you’ll need an exercise ball. I’m going to do my best to explain this exercise so I hope this comes across clear and concise.
Lay on the exercise ball and with your body in the push up position, position yourself on the ball so the ball is right around the knees. Keeping your legs on the ball, bring your knees towards your chest. Now move them back to where you started, flattening out your body. Keep repeating this. It’s kind of like doing mountain climbers on an exercise ball, but both legs move together.
Feel like making this even tougher? Straighten out one leg (kind of like the bird dog position, but only the leg) and carry out the same movement of bringing the knee of the opposite leg to your chest. This is the same movement as above but using only one leg, as the other leg is held out and above the ball. 10 – 12 reps, 3 – 4 sets.
Even tougher? If you want to make this exercise even more challenging, keeping the opposite leg up and off of the ball, bring the knee of the leg on the ball towards your chest. Stop when the leg has a 90 degree bend and when in that position move the leg side to side for about 10 – 12 reps. Now do the same using the other leg. Try to squeeze out 4 sets.
Seated Leg Raise: Sit on the floor and have one leg extended out in front of you, and straight. Bend the other leg bringing the knee towards your chest, hugging the leg to keep it close. With the other leg that is straight, slowly lift it off of the ground and hold for 1 -2 seconds then slowly lower back down to the ground. 10 – 12 reps, then switch sides and do the same. Try doing this for 3 – 4 sets.
These exercises are deceptively hard. Try them out and see what you think. As always, pay close attention to technique as you execute the movements, Don’t rush it either, slow and steady wins the race.
Yours in health,