In­spect­ing dozens of hips ev­ery week is just part of the job for phys­i­cal ther­a­pists and per­sonal train­ers. Nat­u­rally, they have a few tricks— ex­er­cises, ac­tu­ally—they want you to know.

Women's Health (Malaysia) - - GET-FIT TRICKS -

1 / Re­spect the lit­tle guys.

Your hip flex­ors are one huge part of the pic­ture, but they’re not the only mus­cles that need TLC. Be­fore your work­outs, es­pe­cially lower-body ones, foam-roll your in­ner thighs and try an ac­ti­va­tion warm-up to strengthen your ex­ter­nal ro­ta­tors—you need them for 360-de­gree move­ment, says phys­i­cal ther­a­pist David Reavy, CEO of Re­act Phys­i­cal Ther­apy in Chicago. He rec­om­mends three sets of 20 side-ly­ing clamshells (each side) with a mini band around your knees.

2 / Go heavy.

“The hips re­spond re­ally well to chal­leng­ing loads, be­cause they have a higher amount of fast-twitch mus­cle fi­bres—the kind that give you ex­plo­sive bursts of en­ergy,” says Som­er­set. “Per­form­ing three to five reps us­ing heavy re­sis­tance can do great things for their strength, mo­bil­ity and func­tion.” Twice a week, aim to burn out those mus­cles with the bar­bell hip thrust. Start with three to five reps at 25 kilo­gramme, then work your way up in weight ev­ery cou­ple of weeks.

3 / Adopt a new term.

“Re­verse pos­tur­ing” is ex­actly what it sounds like. “You have to coun­ter­act what you do all day to keep your body mov­ing well,” says Reinold. Walk­ing rocks, but so does a po­si­tion that is the po­lar op­po­site of sit­ting: cobra pose. “The pos­ture elon­gates the hips and legs and wakes up your glutes, all while stretch­ing the front of your torso, which tends to slump through­out the day,” he says. Hold the pose up to five min­utes each night to keep your hips mo­bile and re­mind your glutes that they are there (and have a job to do).

SIDE-LY­ING CLAMSHELL Lie down on your left side, your legs stacked, knees bent, and a re­sis­tance band just above your knees Tighten your abs and slowly lift your right knee as high as you can, squeez­ing your glutes at the top Lower your knee to re­turn to start. That’s one rep. Switch sides. (a). (b). BAR­BELL HIP THRUST Sit on the floor with your shoul­ders against a bench, your spine neu­tral, and a bar­bell di­rectly over your hips

Brace your core as you drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the ground Keep your core en­gaged as you lower your hips to re­turn to start. That’s one rep. (a). (b). COBRA POSE Lie on your stom­ach, your legs ex­tended, tops of your feet on the floor. Place your hands un­der your shoul­ders and hug your el­bows close into your body. Be­gin to straighten your arms to lift your chest off the floor, keep­ing your pelvis and tops of your feet on the floor.

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