Body Weight Hip Complex Circuit
Training the hip complex is one area of the body that is usually not emphasized enough in most weight training programs. I also see many muscle imbalances across the hip complex and that can lead to other areas of the body getting stressed. Most of the time, athletes have mobility issues and lack in range of motion. This is usually due to tight hip flexors.
Let’s face it, athletes now days tend to train hard during practice or a workout session but then suck at being active. We now live in a society of athletes that go to practice and then go home and sit behind a computer, on the couch, or play video games all night. They are just not active outside of training and to many people are preaching to them about recovery. I got news for you that is not recovery!
I can remember going from high school straight down to the track for track practice, then getting to the soccer field for soccer practice, then home for dinner, and then usually doing something outside like kickball, capture the flag, etc.. with others in the neighborhood until it was time to come in for a shower and then off to bed. To many athletes focus just on one sport these days and that literally is all they do for activity. Everything else is spent sitting on their butt; which will lead to shortened (tight) hip flexors that turns into more problems and potential for injury.
So by now you are saying, “Jerry where are you going with this?”. Well I am glad you asked. I put together this post to show you a body weight hip complex that will help most gain mobility and also strengthen up some of those smaller intrinsic muscles that might be getting neglected. The best part is, there is no equipment needed and you can do these any where.
The first movement is the fire hydrant. Get on all fours (knees and hands) and place your core in the neutral position. Once in this position you will try to stabilized your torso so there is little to no twisting through the spine and pelvis area. ALL movement should be focused through the hip joint. Keep your knee in a 90 degree position and just raise the leg up laterally as high as you can without twisting. Go as far as your range of motion will allow for and squeeze for a one second hold, then return to the original position in a controlled manner.
The second movement is the donkey kickback. Again, keep the knee in a 90 degree position and bring the leg straight back as far as you can. Hold for a second and return. Watch that you do not drop your pelvis and belly button down towards the floor to gain more motion. The idea is to do it all from the hip joint.
The third movement is the circle in. You will start like the donkey kick and then straighten the knee out and bring the leg around horizontally until you are in the peak position of the fire hydrant. From here bring your leg down to the original starting position. (Please refer to the video for a good visual)
The forth movement is the circle out. Start like a fire hydrant and then horizontally bring the leg back while straightening it until it is in-line with your torso. Finish by bringing the knee back down to the “all fours” position. Note: you will not bend the knee to 90 degrees before returning it down. (Again, please refer to the video for a good visual)
Start by trying to do 10 reps in each position like a circuit. You will feel a burn and that is a good thing as long as you can maintain good technique. If you have to stop and rest that is OK.
Aggressive hip workout: Try challenging yourself by doing each exercise in order as described for a set period of time like 3 or 6 minutes depending on your level. You get one point for each time you can complete one entire cycle through both hips. Key here is to maintain good technique and focus. Hint-make sure you stretch really well afterwards!!
Hope this helps!!
To your health,