| Article written on September 20th, 2015 at 6:30pm | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
Hip lifts are very important and valuable exercises that can very easily be done incorrectly. The posterior chain, the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, are often a neglected area when you at look at most resistance training programs. Adding hip lifts into your routine is a great way to stress these muscles and work on a commonly weak area. When you look at many people with lower back pain, a main area for improvement is the ability to extend the hip without the lumbar spine extending. I don’t know how often I see gym-goers performing exercises which focus on the hips, but the back is doing all the work, this is a big problem! Repetitive movements at the end-range of lumbar flexion and extension can be detrimental to the lumbar spine. If done incorrectly while hyperextending the low back, it causes compression of the interspinous ligament. Repetitive or prolonged compression of this ligament can actually lead to instability.
Below are a series of hip lifts in the best order to complete them from a function standpoint. The first exercise, the cook hip lift, is actually more challenging than the regular hip lift but it promotes proper hip extension with a neutral lumbar spine. Once the body learns to use the hip while sparing the low back, the other hip lifts may be implemented and completed not only effectively, but safely. Start with the cook hip lift and add these exercises into your resistance training program. Check out the videos below for a demonstration of each hip lift variation. Don’t forget to keep the low back neutral, squeeze the glutes, and keep all the weight through the heels. Enjoy!
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART