If you recall, last week I briefly discussed why Shakira was on to something when she said the hips don’t lie. To quickly summarize; hips tell a lot about a person’s ability to truly move properly They reveal whether an athlete is truly reaching their full potential or even if someone is at risk of back pain and knee pain. If you missed last weeks post I encourage you to check it out; http://www.hpi-ibji.com/blog/2014/9/25/truthful-hips-pt-1-why-the-glutes-are-so-important.
I ended last week with a bit of a cliff hanger, I told you why the hips were so important but I did not discuss how to get them working.
You see, most of us suffer from what I call “numb-butt syndrome” or NBS. We spend so many of our waking hours sitting whether in school or work, that our hips really don’t work like they’re supposed to.
I’ve taken upon myself to provide three effective strategies in helping you get your hips moving so well that Shakira would be truly envious.
For those of you looking for glamorous exercises I’m sorry. These exercises are “basic” exercises. There actually pretty simple, but for most of us with NBS they are not easy. Yet, very necessary.
1. Prone Glute Squeeze -
I remember when I first learned what prone means. One of my fellow students explained how he thinks of Call of Duty, when you want to lie down on your stomach your character will say “prone!” And well that’s what it is. You’re going to do this exercise lying down on your stomach.
Usually I have people put their head in their arms so that they can comfortably remain face down. Then I have them bend their legs so that their feet are in the air and then I have them squeeze their butt, sometimes if need be I have them drive their heels together.
For this exercise I sometimes recommend using your hands for a couple reasons.
Make sure that your glutes are actually working
Making sure that your hamstrings aren’t activating.
Hold the contraction for about 10 seconds, relax a little and then repeat.
2. Chair Sit w/ Glute Squeeze-
So another way to think of this name is a box squat with glute squeeze. Basically take what we’ve learned from the prone glute squeeze and know do it while squatting. Now, sometimes I’ll have people regress by holding on to a TRX or door knob just to make sure balance isn’t a limiting factor.
You’re going to squat, and then when you get to the bottom of the squat squeeze your glutes without losing any positioning. Maintaining that glute squeeze stand back up.
These are not meant to be done fast, go slowly, and when you start the glute squeeze pause a little bit to help ensure that you’re actually getting those glutes working.
Try going 10 repetitions and if you do them right you’ll feel the burn.
3. Hip Hinge w/ Glute Squeeze-
So now we’re going to do very similar to the squat but now with a hip hinge.
Again just like in the squat, make sure you know how to hip hinge first. Then when you get to the bottom of the movement think about squeezing the glutes, all the while maintaining a flat back.
Maintain that glute squeeze as you come back up to the top, then rinse and repeat. Just like the squat do this slowly, and really ensure that you are getting the glutes working.
These exercises can be done anywhere, although you might get some funny looks if you busted them out at the restaurant tonight. Yet they require minimal equipment with a lot of benefit for you.
Start with these three exercises in the order that I have presented them. Don’t worry about loading up, but rather worry about making sure the glutes are working the way they need to be.