The banded hip abduction is a variation of the hip abduction exercise which targets a single joint -the outer hip muscles.
The outer hip muscles are seldom engaged due to their unique positioning within the lower body block.
This is why the hip abduction exercise and its variations i.e., the banded hip abduction is so laser focused on this target area.
There are very few exercises that give direct training to the areas the banded hip abduction targets. As such, unless we directly target them, chances are you probably have a weak outer hip area.
For the banded hip abduction, there are two methods of approach which largely comes down to preference. You could either do the exercise while seated or standing.
WHAT TO DO:
STANDING BANDED HIP ABDUCTIONS
- Pull the band up to just above your knee
- Stand sideways against a wall with your right hand bracing yourself
- Keep your head up and your back straight
- In a controlled motion drive the left leg outward as far as you can and pause at the end of the movement
- Slowly return to the starting position
- When you’ve finished off your set amount repetitions with the left leg, turn around and place your left hand on the wall to begin with the right leg
SEATING BANDED HIP ABDUCTIONS
- Sit down on the bench and step into the band pulling it up to right above the knees
- Keep your back upright and your head up
- Push both of your knees outward as far as you can and pause at the full extension
- Return slowly to the starting position
WHAT MUSCLES DO BANDED HIP ABDUCTION WORK?
The gluteus medius is the connecting piece between the thigh and the pelvic bone. It is therefore what allows the foot to make outward movements away from the body.
As such, it affords you stability while walking and making outward movements away from the body.
The banded hip abduction is therefore enabled by the gluteus medius. This constant engagement through the exercise reps is what strengthens the medius muscle
The gluteus minimus is what allows you to make backward movements away from the body.
For instance, when standing up, it is the gluteus minimus that enables the leg to make backward movements away from the body with the leg.
The gluteus minimus also helps to provide stability when your leg is raised.
Therefore, when you make backward movements whilst doing the banded hip abduction, you engage the gluteus maximus.
TENSOR FASCIAE LATAE
This muscle is a tiny but highly important muscle, responsible for providing stability while one foot is ahead of the other.
This is done by the support they provide within the hip joints thus allowing for certain rotational movements that consequently allow you to keep one foot ahead of the other.
BANDED HIP ABDUCTION BENEFITS
IT HELPS ALLEVIATE KNOCK-KNEE EFFECT
Knock-knee refers to caved in knees that can often affect stability and appearance when walking. It is associated with deficiency of adequate hip strength.
Doing the banded hip abduction exercises should help you build enough hip strength to rid yourself of this effect.
More than just the hip block, the banded hip abduction also engages areas such as the core. The core muscles are muscles tailored to support and fuel natural athleticism.
Banded hip abductions also add an advantage as they engage the outer hip which when added to a strong core makes for a slightly better athletic build than the regular person.
USED AS REHABILITATION TREATMENT
When you’re injured, for a while you’re unable to completely use certain areas of your body. As such, it gets to a point where you have to completely learn how to use all areas of the body.
Therefore, you have to engage not just the injured area but the uninjured ones as well due to large periods of inactivity.
This is where exercises such as the banded hip abduction come in.
They provide direct training to areas such as the outer hip which are almost definitely unengaged in a low impact but effective manner.
It could also be used to rehabilitate someone recovering from conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
This is done in conjunction with medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs.
BANDED HIP ABDUCTION ALTERNATIVES
SIDE LEG RAISES
To do this:
- Lie on your right side with your legs extended out straight.
- Use your right hand or a cushion to support your head.
- Slowly raise your left leg as high as you can.
- Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your leg back down.
Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions on each side.
WIDE LEG SQUAT
In order to increase resistance, the leg squat also involves the use of a resistance band. It is usually placed around the thighs.
You should however start with the standard variation before graduating to using a resistance band.
- Stand with your feet wider than your hips.
- Slowly lower your hips down as far as you can.
- Pause in this position, engaging your inner thighs.
- Return to the starting position.
Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Clamshells target a different primary area from the one banded hip abductions target – the inner thighs.
However, the movements involved in performing clamshells engages a similar muscle block to that of the banded hip abduction exercise.
- Lie on your right side with bent knees.
- Slowly open your left leg as far as you can.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then lower back down to the starting position.
Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions on each side.
STANDING LATERAL LEG RAISES
- Stand on your right foot with your left foot slightly raised.
- Place your hands on a wall or chair for support and engage your core.
- Keep your hips square as you engage your inner thighs to lift your left leg as high as you can.
- Pause here for a few moments before slowly returning your leg back down.
Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 14 repetitions on each side.
BANDED HIP ABDUCTION MISTAKES TO AVOID
LIFTING YOUR TOES UP
When you lift your leg lift up and slightly backwards so that you leave the movement with your heel and not your toes.
The banded hip abduction is a great exercise if you have a high impact target. This is purely because of how impactful the banded hip abduction is in preparing you for such exercises.
Therefore, opt for the banded hip abduction if you’re looking for a seamless transition from in between high impact exercises.