Hip Extension Progressions
One of the many awesome things about living in Vermont is that we get to engage in outdoor physical activity, year round! We constantly utilize and rely on our powerful legs to hike, ski, labor, hunt, run, stack wood, bike, and snowshoe. Yet, many of us complain of hip, hamstring and low back pain. FACT: A strong and healthy posterior chain is KEY for an optimally functioning body!
Generally, most individuals have underdeveloped gluteal and hamstring muscles. I think we can all agree that there is nothing more attractive than a great pair of glutes, but developing a nice derriere is just an added BONUS to strengthening the muscles of the posterior chain.
THE HIP EXTENSION is an excellent posterior chain exercise that strengthens the gluteal muscles and extensors, lower back, and hamstrings. Implement HIP EXTENSION EXERCISES in your workouts to:
- Decrease lower back pain
- Increase power and mobility in athletic movements
- Increase power and mobility in movements that require rapid change of direction
- Improve posture
- Stabilize upper body
- Build a nice looking bum :)
HIP EXTENSION PROGRESSIONS:
1. Glute Bridge: Lie with your back on the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Lift the hips off of the floor by pushing upwards through your heels. Lower your hips and repeat.
2. Unilateral Bent Leg Glute Bridge March:
Lie with your back on the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Bend one leg and raise it. Hold for 3 seconds and then alternate legs.
3. Unilateral Straight Leg Glute Bridge: Lie with your back on the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Straighten one leg and extend into a bridge, producing a hip extension.
4. Unilateral Straight Leg Glute Thrust on Bench: Lie with your shoulders resting on a bench and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Straighten one leg and perform a hip thrust, then pulse your glute down, keeping the leg as straight as possible. Complete all reps on one leg and then switch to the other.
5. Unilateral Glute Thrust - 2 Benches: Lie with your shoulders resting on one bench. Place your heels on the edge of another bench.. Straighten one leg and perform a hip thrust, then pulse your glute down, keeping the leg as straight as possible. Complete all reps on one leg and then switch to the other.
Questions? Do you want to strengthen your glutes but would like gentler exercises? Are you PAST the 2 bench thrust and need help getting to the next level? Please contact Fitness Director, Erin Kershaw at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802)484-3511! She's here to help!
Erin Montgomery Kershaw, M.S., ASCM-HFS