Strong and Mobile Hips, Part 3: Hip Strength

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Part 1 of this series explained why the hip joint is so important. In Part 2, we discussed why it's vital to regularly improve hip range of motion with mobility exercises. Now, we cover the strength aspect of hip health.

Keeping your hips healthy requires mobility and strength. But many athletes have weakness and imbalances. For example, hockey players often have super strong glutes but lack groin strength. The problem is exacerbated by those who train just their "mirror" muscles, try to lift as much weight as humanly possible or perform too many machine exercises. These habits limit the engagement of the posterior chain (muscles in the back of the body), the primary generator of power for almost any sports skill.

The key to keeping your hips strong and healthy is to eliminate imbalances and make your hip muscles work as an integrated unit. To build overall strength and power, you should still perform multi-joint exercises like Squats and Deadlifts; but to build balanced and strong hips, all you need to do is this resistance band circuit once or twice a week. Your hips will thank you. So will your coach.

Banded X-Walks

  • Assume athletic position with one end of long band looped under center of feet
  • Hold remainder of band with arms at sides; remove all slack
  • Slowly shuffle to right for specified distance
  • Slowly shuffle to left for specified distance

Sets/Distance: 2×10-15 yards each direction

Triangle Walks

  • Loop one end of long band behind neck with other end looped beneath feet (forming large circle with band)
  • Assume athletic stance with hands to sides as if guarding a defender
  • Slowly shuffle to right for specified distance
  • Slowly shuffle to left for specified distance

Sets/Distance: 2×10-15 yards each direction

Banded Abduction and Glute Bridge

  • Lie with back on ground, knees bent, feet on floor and arms to sides
  • Wrap mini band around legs, just above knees
  • Drive through heels and extend hips to lift pelvis up
  • Squeeze glutes and push knees out as far as possible against band resistance; hold position for one second
  • Release and lower to ground
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3×10-15 reps

Seated Banded Abduction

  • Assume seated position on bench so only half of thighs are on bench with legs together
  • Wrap mini band around legs, just above knees
  • Grasp bench with hands
  • Drive knees apart as far as possible against band resistance; hold position for one second
  • Slowly allow knees to come together
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3×10-15 reps


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: LOWER BODY | MOBILITY | POWER | HEALTH | BENCH | STANCE | SHUFFLE