The standing hip abduction is a simple workout that strengthens the glutes and the outer thighs.
This exercise moves your leg away from your body by raising the hip abductors from the thigh bone towards the pelvis.
Hip abductions can be performed in various methods, with or without equipment. The standing hip abduction is versatile and easy to include in a lower hypertrophy workout routine.
Strengthening the hip muscles enables you to perform daily tasks, walk and engage in any physical activity with much ease. Performing this exercise also helps prevent hip injury or pain.
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Also known as: Standing leg raise
Targeted Muscles: Gluteus medius, Gluteus minimus, Hips
Exercise Type: Hypertrophy
Exercise Mechanics: Isolation
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Stand facing a sturdy support and lightly place your hands on the support to help you stay balanced.
- Move your heels towards each other and face your toes away, forming a V shape with your feet.
- Lengthen your spine, and assume a position such that your ears are directly over your shoulders. Ensure your shoulders are directly aligned over your hips.
- Move your abdominal muscles in the direction of your spine such that your tailbone drops downwards. Brace your core muscles and keep them active throughout the workout to support your lower back and generate a resistance force to strengthen your glutes.
- Stretch your right leg straight behind you while pointing your toes out. Move your leg two inches outwards such that it forms a diagonal line beginning from your right hip. Rest your toes on the floor as you do this. Straighten your leg as far as you can go.
- Bend your left leg slightly to avoid locking out the standing knee.
- Brace the glute muscles on the side of your butt to raise your right leg such that your toes are about two inches off the floor.
- Maintain the position for a few seconds and bring your leg back down. The focus here is on using the muscle for leg mobility, and remember not to jerk or swing your leg up from your hip flexor.
- Aim for 2 sets of 10 reps.
- Do not swing your pelvis as you raise your leg. Ensure your hips face forward.
- Keep your pelvis levelled throughout the workout. Avoid hiking up your hip toward your ribcage as you raise your leg.
- Do not move your leg forward as you lift it out to the side.
- Avoid bending your torso forward as you perform the exercise. Focus on keeping your chest up and only use your hips to move.
MUSCLES WORKED BY STANDING HIP ABDUCTION
The main muscles worked by the standing hip abduction include:
The glute is made up of the muscles mentioned above. The gluteus maximus tones shape and are responsible for power and explosiveness.
The main movers for standing hip abduction are the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius.
The tensor fasciae latae-a tiny muscle located in the upper thigh play a significant role in supporting your body as you execute the workout.
BENEFITS OF STANDING HIP ABDUCTION
The standing hip abduction may not be a typical gym workout, but working the hip muscles is important for many reasons, including:
Strong hip abductors prevent injury. When you lack enough strength in the hip abductors, your knees tend to move inward when you run or walk, making you assume a knock knee position.
This position puts much stress on the knee joints and can easily cause injuries in the lower body. Working the hip abductors can help alleviate these problems, help you keep a proper body alignment and help improve overall mobility.
The hip abductors are responsible for leg mobility. Weak hips make it extremely hard to shift or move with ease. Strong hips improve mobility and allow you to move around easily. Hip training is a surefire way to advance your agility!
IMPROVED STRENGTH PERFORMANCE
Many weightlifters may be questioning why they should fancy small leg muscles. Well, here’s the answer- strong hip abductors have stability hip benefits to any weightlifter.
Hip stability is key when performing heavy weightlifting workouts like deadlifts. Stronger hips guarantee stronger hip abductors, enabling lifters to perform heavy sets of reps.
ALTERNATIVES TO STANDING HIP ABDUCTION
SEATED HIP ABDUCTION
This workout is a great alternative that isolates the hip abductors. Machine aided hip abductors work all muscles of the glutes.
- Sit and place the legs on the pads.
- Hold the side lever to bring your legs close together.
- Let go of the lever after you lock your legs in an inward-facing position.
- Breathe out and spread your legs to allow you to push on the pads. Maintain the extended position for a few seconds.
- Inhale as you gently resume the starting position.
- Aim or 10-12 reps.
As you execute this workout, ensure you use the appropriate weight. Avoid putting excessive stress on your muscles to prevent injuries.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING THE STANDING HIP ABDUCTION
Perform this exercise safely and effectively, and avoid these mistakes to get the most out of this workout.
RAISING THE LEG TOO HIGH
When you raise your leg way higher than just above your hip, you no longer isolate your outer thigh, and you will shift the focus of the workout by recruiting other muscles instead. Lift your leg until you feel the tension in your hips- not further.
RUSHING THE MOTION
This exercise is relatively easy to perform and can be tempting to rush and complete fast. Fast motion makes you perform the exercise with poor form and minimizes the effectiveness of this workout. Make the motion slow and intentional to allow you to adopt better muscle endurance and prevent workout injuries.
STRAINING THE NECK
When you execute this workout, focus on maintaining your spine at a neutral position. Raising or jutting your neck puts unnecessary tension and strain on your neck.
Correct this by checking on your form and ensuring you perform the workout using the correct technique.
The standing hip abduction is ideal for strengthening the hip abductor muscles. Likewise, this workout improves the pelvis strength and stability as you perform normal activities. The hip abductor muscles also play a key role in maintaining balance.
Standing hip abduction has many strength and health benefits, including core stability, balance and posture benefits. Likewise, this workout prevents injuries, strengthens the hips and improves overall agility.
Ensure your pelvis stays leveled throughout the workout. Focus on executing the workout with the proper form for the best results. Remember to perform slowly and control and use the correct weight.
Sweat up a storm!