Third Space trainer Carl Wilson has the how and why on maximising this most important body part in the gym.
Your hips are your seat of power. All of the lower body exercises you work through in the gym are facilitated by your hips, from your back squats to your deadlifts. But they don’t often get the love they deserve, too often your hips are left to seize up with endless hours spent sat at a desk. Well, it’s time to oil those hinges. Follow this guide to unleash new strength.
Copenhagen Side Plank
This exercise targets the often overlooked adductor muscle group on the inside of the leg.
Position your top leg on the bench with knee and ankle perpendicular to your body. With your forearm on the floor, bring the bottom leg off the ground.
Progressions – Start by holding the position for a count of 10 seconds for 3 sets each side. Increase the amount of time up to 30 seconds after 4 weeks. Once that is comfortable, start to position your top leg on the bench with knee and ankle in line, so that only your ankle is on the bench.
Rear-Foot Elevated Split-Squat
Find a comfortable distance from the bench and control yourself down to the lowest comfortable point (your knee should be just off the floor). Then push down into the ground with the front foot and come a standing start position. The up-phase should be slightly faster than the down-phase.
Progressions – once you can control the movement, start to increase the depth of squat. When this can be achieved, work up to 15 reps per leg 2-4 sets twice per week. After 4 weeks start to increase the speed of the up-phase. After 4 more weeks add weight to each hand.
Slider Hamstring Curls
This really targets the hamstrings, so progress slowly – consider this your cramp warning!
Lie on the floor with knees bent and heels on sliders. The goal is to keep pressure into the floor while the feet move away from the body. Go as far as you can – being able to return without dropping the pelvis to the floor.
Progression – start with both legs reaching out and returning for 2-3 sets of 5 reps twice per week. After 4 weeks work to 10 reps for 3-4 sets. Then try using 1 leg for the reaching out-phase (eccentric phase) and two legs for the return (concentric phase). Once this feels comfortable, try both parts of the movement on 1 leg.