Healthy Hips Part III – Simple Strength Training that Anyone Can Do
By Keith Scott, MS, ATC, CSCS
In this installment, I am going to list very simple, basic exercises that anyone can do to help keep the hips healthy. This article will briefly cover strength training for and around the hip complex. Plug these exercises into your routine to help keep strong, healthy hips. These exercises are meant to be simple and things that you can do at home, even if you do not have a lot of equipment.
Remember, this is a basic list. There are plenty of other exercises that you can do too. Start with these and move up from there.
Squats – Whole body exercise that should already be part of your program. Make sure to incorporate one-legged squats into your training.
Dead lifts – This is another exercise that will work the entire body as well as focusing on the hip complex. Make certain to keep a straight, neutral back. Perform these with your knees bent slightly to about 20 degrees. Pitch your butt tight as you extend (up movement) your hips. This is one of the best exercises out there for many things, but essential for a healthy hip complex! If you are not certain you can do these next to perfect, find someone that can help you do the correctly.
Russian Hamstring Curls – Start on your knees with a partner holding onto your ankles from behind. While trying to keep the hip extended and the back in neutral, slowly lean forward from the knees, using the glutes to keep the hips straight. Lean forward as far as your hamstring strength will let you, ultimately aiming for at least a 45 degree angle. If possible, pull yourself back upwards. If you cannot do this, then fall to the floor carefully and catch yourself in the push up position. This is an extremely tough exercise and may take a while to get it. Since you will be producing an eccentric load while doing these, limit this exercise to once a week.
Band Walks – Get a theraband or theratubing and tie the ends together. Place your feet into the newly made circle. Open your legs and make the band tight. Walk side ways across the floor very slowly and deliberately while fighting against the resistance of the band. Come back across the room working the other side. Do this with your knees bent and then perform with your knees straight.