The standing hip extension is an exercise that recruits one of your strongest muscles- the hip extensors and hamstrings. This exercise is essential for stabilizing the hip and pelvis joints.
The angle between the front pelvis and the thigh increases when you extend your hip, and the standing hip extension can serve as a dynamic warm-up drill for other complex weightlifting exercises.
To counteract hip muscle tightening, perform this exercise to open your hips. Ensure you discuss your health risks, any previous injuries sustained, and any treatment therapy you may be undergoing before beginning this workout program.
Also Known as; Standing Hip Adduction
Targeted Muscle Group: Gluteus Musculature
Required Equipment: No equipment
Exercise Type: Hypertrophy
Exercise Mechanics: Isolation
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Assume a shoulder-width stance and grab onto a chair or a table for support.
- Draw your abdominal muscles in to pull your back. Do this by bracing your core and pulling your umbilicus inward.
- Ensure your knees are straight and keep your toes pointed. Kick your leg towards your back slowly. Keep your torso and back straight.
- Resume the starting position.
- Aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Repeat the motion with the opposite leg.
Up for a challenge?
Execute the workout using the same technique described above using a light cuff weight in your ankle.
You can begin adding weight when consistently performing 3 sets of 12 reps for two sessions without difficulty.
You can challenge your balance by performing the exercise without holding onto anything to keep you steady.
- Do some proper warm-ups before commencing the workout. Before you begin strength training, spend 10-15 minutes warming up.
- Focus on executing the workout properly before adding weight or resistance.
- Contract your glutes to get the most benefits from this workout without overworking the hamstrings.
- Keep your spine and pelvis neutral. To focus more on the glutes and other synergist muscles, ensure your spine and pelvis are neutral. Brace your core to avoid jutting your pelvis frontwards or arching your lower back.
- Keep your active leg slightly bent to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the leg.
MUSCLES WORKED BY THE STANDING HIP EXTENSION
The Gluteus Maximus is the strongest lower body muscle that helps you maintain an upright posture. This muscle aids thigh and hip mobility. All normal movements need a strong Gluteus Maximus.
The hamstrings are the muscles found at the back of your thigh that are made up of the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris.
This muscle connects from the pelvis down to the back of your knees and stabilizes the hip joint.
The hamstring muscles are also responsible for knee flexion. For the hips, the hamstrings aid the backward quad movement of the gluteus maximus.
BENEFITS OF THE STANDING HIP EXTENSION
Most people overlook this workout and often underestimate its benefits. However, training the hip extensors with the standing hip extension has several benefits.
Athletes can significantly boost their performance by training the hamstrings and the gluteus maximus- since they are the crucial muscles for most sporting activities.
Standing hip extensions are essential for sports conditioning: the stronger your muscles, the less the injury risks.
Likewise, this workout improves pelvic joint mobility and is important for any workout that needs constant and quick quad movement like swimming.
Hip flexion and extension are essential in maintaining general body balance. Many hip flexion workouts are known, and many exercisers perform them without knowing.
Don’t underestimate these hip flexion workouts since they necessitate backward thigh movement, which helps you maintain balance and alleviate injury risks.
Workouts that focus on the glutes and hamstrings tone the muscles in that area. Aside from hypertrophy benefits, you can use the standing hamstring curls to shape your quads and glutes. Consistent standing hamstring curls can help you burn fat and build stronger, more toned legs.
ALTERNATIVES TO STANDING HIP EXTENSIONS
Depending on your convenience, you can try this alternative workout that works the same muscles.
UPRIGHT HIP THRUST
Required Equipment: Exercise mat, Resistance band (Optional)
- Place the exercise mat on the ground and kneel on it about hip-width apart. Ensure your shins are flat in contact with the mat. Keep your back straight.
- Place your hands on your hips and move your hips back such that your butt touches your calves.
- Contract your glutes, push your hips frontwards, and then resume the starting position.
- Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps.
- You can level up the workout by using a rubber resistance band in your upper thigh, attaching it to a stable pole, and standing in front of it. Perform the exercise using the same technique.
See also: Standing Kickbacks
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING THE STANDING HIP EXTENSION
PARTIAL RANGE OF MOTION
Not completing a full range of motion is a typical mistake often witnessed with the standing hip extension. If you stop the exercise before your thighs are parallel, your glutes will not be worked to their full potential.
Correct this by aiming your legs at a 90-degree angle.
WRONG FOOT PLACEMENT
If you place your feet too far forward, you’ll focus most of the tension in your hamstrings. If you place your feet too far, you’ll engage your quads more.
Get the right foot positioning that will enable you to feel the hip thrust, specifically in your glutes.
ARCHING THE LOWER BACK
When you hyperextend or arch your lower back and your ribs are pushed upwards during the initial workout phase, you will not work your hips to their full potential.
Ensure your lower back is neutral and your ribs are down to achieve full hip extension.
RISING ON YOUR FEET, BALLS
Many exercisers often rise using their feet balls at the top of the rep. This results from wrong foot placement or your quads are more dominant.
Reassess our foot positioning and ensure you form a 90-degree angle at the top. Ensure your heels touch the ground throughout the workout.
The standing hip extension is a crucial workout for stabilizing the pelvis- which aids many activities, including walking and standing running. It works 3 main muscles: the gluteus maximus, adductor Magnus, and hamstrings.
Training your muscles using this workout has several health and fitness benefits, including improved athletic performance, stabilized spine, pelvis, and mobility. Keep your muscles stronger and work them even better by including this workout in your routine.
To get the most benefits from this workout, focus on executing this exercise with the correct technique, and be sure to perform warm-up drills before you commence.
Over time, you will witness the benefits and have your hip extensors to thank.
All the best!