Hip-dominant exercises focus on major areas of the lower body – the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Training these areas will improve your strength, balance and stability, all of which are important for activities that depend on your lower body such as running marathons, your weekly football games as well as the standing broad jump station during your IPPT.
|Lying Hip Extension
Start: Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides and both heels up on a chair or bench, with your knees bent.
Finish: Pushing with your gluteals and hamstrings, dig your heels down into the seat of the chair and lift your hips until your body forms a ramp that descends from your knees to your shoulders. Pause, then return to the starting position.
|Elevated-Leg Lying Hip Extension
For a greater challenge, straighten one leg and hold it
|Swiss-Ball Lying Hip Extension
To go spherical with this movement, put your heels and calves on a Swiss ball (rather than just your heels on a bench) and spread your arms on the floor for added stability. Everything else is the same.
Swiss-Ball Lying Hip Extension /Leg Curl
Set up on the Swiss ball exactly as you would for the lying hip extension described above. Perform the same movement, but don’t go back down just yet. Instead, at the top, execute a leg curl by using your hamstrings to roll the ball toward your butt. Hold at the point of greatest contraction, straighten your legs, and then lower your body to the starting position.
|One-Leg Romanian Deadlift
Start: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, your abs tucked in, your shoulders pulled back, and your arms at your sides. Lift one foot an inch or two off the floor and shift it over next to (but not touching) the other leg.
Finish: Bending at the hips, lower your torso until it’s as close to parallel to the floor as you can get it without rounding your back. Pause, then push with your heel to rise back up.
Start: Lift one foot behind you so that your shin is parallel to the floor, flamingo-style.
Finish: Allow your torso to lean slightly forward (but do not bend at the hips as in the one-leg
Start: Lie facedown, with your torso on a piano bench or sturdy table from the navel up, and your legs hanging off behind you so they nearly touch the floor.
Finish: Holding on to the sides of the bench, use your gluteals and hamstrings to lift your legs straight up into the air until they’re just above parallel to the floor and your body forms a straight line. Hold that position for a few beats, then return to the starting position.
|Swiss-Ball Reverse Hyperextension
Set a Swiss ball in front of something sturdy you can grab on to, like a chair weighted with heavy objects such as sandbags. Lie on your chest on the ball, and raise your straight legs off the floor. Hold for a few seconds. For more range of motion, place the ball on top of a bench or box and then lie on it. Make sure the ball can’t roll off the surface you’ve set it on, or wear a helmet and mouth guard to protect your face.