Exercise of the Week: Hip Circuit

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To increase speed, you need to develop a long and powerful stride. Since striding originates from the hips, they need to be continually strengthened to ensure you keep a leg up on the competition.

The hip flexors and glutes are two muscle groups that help produce long and powerful strides. Strong hip flexors allow you to consistently generate a high knee drive. According to Marques Simmons, performance training specialist at Athletic Republic, "The higher you get your legs, the more force you hit the ground with to propel yourself forward." The glutes are engaged to propel you forward, so they are equally important for improving speed.

Simmons uses a Hip Circuit to develop the stride and increase the speed of  Pittsburgh Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley. The Circuit keeps Woodley remain one of the most dominant linebackers in the NFL.

Hip Flexion

  • Assume position on multi-hip machine with right knee slightly bent and pad resting on right thigh, just above knee
  • Maintaining straight back and tight core, forcefully contract hip flexors to flex leg and raise knee until slightly higher than hip
  • Slowly lower to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform on opposite leg

Hip Extensions

  • Assume position on multi-hip machine with right hip flexed until knee is slightly higher than hip and pad resting on hamstrings, just above knee
  • Maintaining straight back and tight core, forcefully contract glutes to extend leg and lower pad
  • Slowly return to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform on opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg and each exercise, with 90 seconds rest after circuit
Coaching Point: Perform as a circuit


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: EXERCISE OF THE WEEK | EXERCISES | EXERCISE | STRIDE | PITTSBURGH STEELERS | PERFORMANCE TRAINING