A lot of times it’s the little things that go a long way when trying to keep athletes healthy in the long term. A perfect example is a simple 1-leg hip lift.
The 1-leg hip lift is a great exercise to help an athlete use the glutes properly ➡ as a hip extensor, which most young or weak athletes are unable to do.
Because so many athletes can’t use their glutes properly we generally see the athlete substitute lumbar extension for hip extension, which can lead to lower back issues. Teaching an athlete to not use the lumbar spine to create motion will go a long way in low back health.
Another great benefit to the hip lift is teaching the athlete to use the glutes as a hip extensor instead of overusing the hamstrings. Using the glutes and hamstrings together as a hip extensor will play a role in decreasing hamstring injuries down the road.
Finally, the hip lift will help develop some flexibility in the hip flexors because of the reciprocal nature of the exercise – it is impossible to both contract the glutes while also contracting the hip flexors. As a result, we get a stretch on the front side hip flexor.
- Isometric Leg Lock Hip Lift
- Isometric Tennis Ball Hip Lift
- Tennis Ball Hip Lift (reps)
- Marching Hip Lift
Typically the hip lift is simply incorporated into the warm up period as an ‘activation’ exercise