Your hips tell a much bigger story than you may think. They are the center of your universe. They generate power above and below. You need them to run fast, squat deep, push/pull and produce strength overhead. They are part of your core! Yes, they help to stabilize the spine, providing you with greater control/coordination and balance! Your hips will save your knees in many cases.
Our brain wants to protect us from falling. Have you or your client ever went hiking or skiing/snowboarding and then complained of knee pain afterword’s? Or have you ever seen someone do a lunge, fall into their back leg/knee and then try to get back up by pulling their shoulder to their ear in hopes of pulling themselves back up?
This is all too common. You see, when our body is lacking the ability to utilize our hips/core, we revert to two main areas to get the job done. Knees and shoulders. The path of least resistance is not always the best choice!
Whether your goal is to gain glutes for aesthetic reasons or health reasons, everyone who can walk, should be focusing on gaining healthy hips.
They will dramatically improve your quality of life.
Tips for the Hips
With all that said, I have some tips to help everyone get started on their hip health journey.
Breath deep into you diaphragm expanding your intra abdominal muscles 360°.
On the exhale, try to keep the abdominal wall expanded as you release the air.
This can be a bit tough, be patient with yourself.
Relax before repeating the next breath.
You might be asking what breathing has to do with the hips? The relationship is extremely important. People who tend to hold their breath or breath into their chest have a harder time engaging their core, as well as getting neuromuscular control. This will affect balance and coordination.
2. Pelvic tucks
Start on your back with your knees bent. Begin to move your hips from front to back. Start to feel the different sensations you feel between the two positions.
You can also play with this movement while standing.
3. Dead bug
Use the same 360 breathing pattern. Inhale at the center starting position and then extend opposite arm and leg. Think about keeping tension throughout the entire movement. Exhale as you pull the limbs back to center.
Do your best to keep your pelvis in the same position through the movement.
4. Glute bridge
Breath in at the bottom and exhale as you extend your hips to the top. Do your best to keep the ribs and hips stacked together while you bridge.
5. SMR- Self Myofascial Release your glutes.
I like to work outwards to the glute Medius, towards the outer hip. Be sure to breath to facilitate the calming of the CNS. This will help the tissues to relax and allow for better muscular recruitment moving forward.
Next is the 90/90. This will allow you to work on your internal and external rotation of the hip. The better you can get at feeling your hip movements the more you will get out of this exercise. Have patients. This stuff takes time!
6. Reverse lunge full ROM
Start on one leg. The leg you are standing on will be the prime mover.
Begin to move into a single leg RDL. Reaching the other leg back behind you, try not to bend the knee for as long as possible. Once your rear foot touches the ground, you can start to move into a deep lunge. Finally, use your front leg to pull the rear leg back up to the starting position.
7. Reverse lunge decreased ROM
Similar to the reverse lunge you will reach the rear leg behind you. Once it touches the ground, pull it back up. Try not to bend the knee on the front leg.
Honestly, I could go down this rabbit hole for days. Try these tricks with yourselves and or your clients and let us know how it went!
If you’re interested in learning more, contact us for more information on our upcoming intake to get you started working as a Personal Trainer.