How To Do The Lying Hip Abduction Properly

An exercise often alternated with other workouts, the lying hip abduction is the perfect exercise to target the hips, glutes, and thighs.

It’s easy to perform and requires no equipment which is great if you’re just beginning your workout journey.

In case you’re shying away from a high-intensity workout for various reasons, this is perfect for you since you will be lying down throughout it. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform this exercise:

  • Lay down on your side on the ground (preferably on a mat)
  • One of your legs should be on top of the other with your head cradled by your arm or by your hand
  • Your lower leg may be bent at the knee but the top one must be straight
  • Keeping it straight, raise your top leg straight upwards as high as possible and squeeze the thigh
  • Now slowly lower your leg back to the ground
  • Your upper body should not move through this motion so keep it stable
  • Perform ten reps for up to three sets while alternating the legs raised

MUSCLES WORKED BY THE LYING HIP ABDUCTION

THE GLUTES

Comprising of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus, the glutes are the muscles that make up your hips and butt.

The gluteus medius and minimus are the main abductors and benefit the most from the lying hip abduction.

The gluteus maximus facilitates flexion of the hip and makes up most of your butt.

The gluteus medius not only supports the gluteus maximus in the movement of the hip but also aids in the stabilization of the pelvis. It is located in the outer part of your pelvis in your posterior hip.

Finally, the gluteus minimus is the smallest muscle among the glutes. It aids in the abduction of the thigh and general movement of the leg.

TENSOR FASCIA LATA

More widely known as TFL, the tensor fascia lata is a muscle located in the hip. It overlies the gluteus medius and minimus and attaches to the tibia.

It works in conjunction with other muscles to facilitate flexion, abduction, and rotation of the hip and knee.

OBLIQUES

These are the muscles located around the side of your abdomen. They connect your ribs, abdomen, lower back, and hip bone.

Most athletes constantly engage this muscle group when tightening the core during exercise which makes strengthening it very important. They protect many vital organs from injury and help keep the spine erect.

BENEFITS OF THE LYING HIP ABDUCTION

STRENGTHENS MUSCLES

You need not for me to explain all the ways stronger muscles improve the way your body looks and feels. Strong muscles improve your body’s general well-being.

Your glutes and other hip abductor muscles will make walking, running, and climbing stairs way easier as long as you work these muscles.

IMPROVES BODY STABILITY

The hip abductors play a small role in body balance and stability. This is due to their close relationship with the core.

Working the glutes, obliques, and hip abductors, in general, helps give the body proper posture which consequently, keeps it stable.

REDUCES KNEE PAIN

You may have heard of someone complaining about pain in their knee after climbing a flight of stairs or taking a long walk.

This may be caused by weakened hip abductors and improper form during a workout. The lying hip abduction targets these muscles which strengthens them to reduce any pain.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE LYING HIP ABDUCTION

CABLE HIP ABDUCTION

This is another great hip abduction work out that makes use of a cable machine.

  • Stand next to a cable machine and place the cable low on the pulley/machine
  • Put the cable around the ankle of the leg furthest from the machine keeping tension in the cable
  • Standing on one leg, grip the machine and slowly raise the leg sideways
  • The knee should stay straight and the spine neutral
  • Repeat for twelve reps per leg

CLAMSHELLS

Clamshells are a non-equipment workout that is great for hip abduction. You may require a mat but this can be replaced with a carpet or thick towel.

  • Lay on your side on the ground with your spine neutral and head cradled in the crook of your arm.
  • One leg should be on top of the other
  • Bend your knees and keep your heels aligned with your head
  • Slowly raise your top leg while maintaining contact between both of your feet to open up the hips
  • Bring the leg down and repeat ten times for each leg

FORWARD-BACKWARD BAND WALK

The forward-backward band walk makes use of a resistance band around the leg (below the knee).

  • Plant your feet on the ground slightly wider than shoulder-width
  • Place the resistance band around your legs
  • Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips and bend the knees into a slight squat
  • Your head should be facing forward as you take a step forward then back, one foot before the other
  • Repeat for up to ten steps per leg

COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DOING THE LYING HIP ABDUCTION

DROPPING THE LEG

You may be tempted to use gravity to your advantage by dropping the leg rather than slowly lowering it. This fails to engage the hip abductors hence, you will have a highly ineffective workout.

Control your movements instead to target the hip abductor muscles

MOVING THE LEG TOO HIGH

The hip, typically, should only abduct up to a forty-five-degree angle. Anything above that is probably a result of engaging other muscles besides the hip abductors. This completely takes away the usefulness of this exercise since it is a targeted workout.

STRAINING THE NECK

Straining the neck causes avoidable pain in the neck. Your head and neck should be relaxed with your head held up by the hand or stay cradled in your arm.

Bottom-line is that you must be conscious of the muscles you move and those that should remain neutral.

LEANING FORWARD OR BACK

This completely takes away from the muscle isolation that the lying hip abduction is good for. Not to mention failure to keep the spine neutral may lead to poor posture.

Remember to target the right muscles by keeping the spine neutral and aligning the body

CONCLUSION

The lying hip abduction could turn out to be one of your favorite exercises.

Considering the fact that it’s low on equipment requirement, low-intensity and strengthens muscles that are used when doing the most ordinary tasks, you stand to benefit so much from it.

There’s no excuse to skip out on this one, so grab your mat and start your set.