Tuesday, 19 April 2016

3 Must Know Hip Strengthening Exercises for Healthy Knees and Back

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Lifetime risk of symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA)Hip strengthening is extremely important for all people to do and do regularly!

Strong hips will keep the entire kinetic chain in harmony while most importantly help to prevent injuries. Proper hip strength will improve ones biomechanics, posture, and will greatly reduce one from experiencing patellofemoral syndrome or runners knee and IT Band Syndrome.

(Lets be honest, theres nothing worse than a sore ITB! And no matter the IT Band stretch, relieving ones iliotibial band is all you can think about when it is nagging at you!)

Many people suffer from poor hip strength due to muscle imbalances in the lower body, extended periods of sitting, altered biomechanics, and poor postural alignment.

The most effective way to keep the body in harmony is by properly performing hip strengthening and hip stabilization exercises at least 2-4 days per week. Outlined in this exercise routine are easy and simple hip strengthening and hip stabilization exercises that one can add into any workout routine. For each exercise listed I have included a modification to make each exercise easier and more challenging. Should you have any questions please dont hesitate to post a comment in either the post or under the video.

Exercise #1: Single legged bridge with knee squeeze

The first exercise is called a single legged bridge with a knee squeeze. The exercise isolates all the hip muscles, abdominals and lower back. This exercise offers great value and can be performed anywhere with minimal equipment.

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For this exercise first squeeze the ball then elevate the pelvis. Once the pelvis is elevated extend one leg to the height of the bent leg on the ground. Hold this position for 10 seconds then switch sides. Always aim to keep the pelvis stable and symmetrical to avoid compensations and lower back pain. Perform 5 sets on each side and always keep your core engaged and your arms across your chest.

To make this exercise easier either reduce the total number of sets on each leg or by reducing the height of the pelvis. If you want to make this exercise more challenging increase the sets from 5 on each side to 10 on each side.

The next exercise isolates the gluteus maximus and can be performed with zero equipment. I love this exercise and will offer you a ton of value because it targets the largest muscle in the body. This exercise is essential for people suffering from hip, knee, and/or lower back pain.

Exercise #2: Single Leg Hip Raise

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Begin by lying on your back and digging one heel into the ground then elevate the opposite leg to a right angle. Once the leg is elevated place the hands on top of the quad and lift upward with the opposite hip. Perform 2 sets for 10-15 reps on each side in controlled tempo.

To make this exercise easier either reduce the height of the pelvis or cut the total number of sets/reps. If you want to make this exercise more challenging hold the pelvis raised for 1-2 seconds before returning it to the starting position.

Our last exercise is for hip stability and core stability and is an exercise that most fitness enthusiasts seldom perform. When the hip muscles are strong and stable the chances of experiencing aches and pains are greatly reduce.

Exercise #3: Challenge those Hips

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Begin by lying on a full length foam roller with your head placed comfortably at the top of the foam roller. Place one leg away from the midline of the body and elevate the unused leg up in the air. Make sure the arms are crossed and the lower back is flat against the foam roller, which will help the abdominals stay engaged. Hold this position for 10 seconds and perform 5 sets on each side.

To make this exercise easier move the stationary leg further away from the midline of the body, which will enable the person to feel more balanced while performing the exercise. To make this exercise harder either move the stationary leg closer to the midline of the body or reduce the height of the elevated leg in the air. Both of those modifications will make this exercise more challenging on the hips and core.

It is essential to perform hip stabilization and hip strengthening exercises to keep the body strong, in alignment and prevent injuries. Always remember when performing these exercises to use correct technique and posture when performing these exercises and to allow at least one day per week for rest and recovery.

I hope you found this post beneficial and please share it with at least one person who is suffering from pain in their lower body.

Happy Reading (and training)!

Ryan Krane - Fitness Expert - Head shotAuthor Bio:Ryan Krane, MS, CPT, PES, CES

Ryan Krane is a fitness entrepreneur specializing in corrective exercise. He is the creator of The Krane Training Method and the founder of the Get My Body Better online series, which includes GetMyKneeBetter.com.His exercise programs help people eliminate their pain through exercise and build a rock solid foundation inside their bodies so they wont crack and can continue living their live to the fullest. His passion in life is to help chronic pain sufferers address and eliminate recurring body aches through expert-designed flexibility, posture, and strength training. The Krane Training Method, through years of experience to enable individuals to successfully Move Better, Feel Better, and Live Better. The Krane Training Method is custom tailored to fit clients needs and lifestyles, making it to one of the most accommodating corrective exercise programs available to relieve pain and improve quality of life!

Ryan has his Masters Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Rehabilitation Sciences and has been featured on ABC, NBC News Radio, Prevention and Womens Health and the homepage of Yahoo.

Now you can follow Ryan on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and Instagram.

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