Building Lower Body Strength & Stability 2 (Hip Dominant)

High Performance
You’ve heard it before.
“I don’t like to deadlift because it hurts my back”
Before you learn how to walk, you crawl.
This week we will be discussing exactly that, building lower body strength and stability, specifically in the hips, and ensuring a strong movement foundation to progress you along an exercise chain to develop your skillset.
When assessing movement in the hips, I like to look at the muscles that flex the hips, as well as extend. Today we will be talking over your hip extensors primarily, your glutes and hamstrings.
The ASLR (Active Straight Leg Raise), is a great test to examine range of motion in the hamstrings. This usually may determine an individuals capability on performing exercises that would fall under a hinge pattern.
For example, it might not be ideal to perform conventional deadlifts if you have limited range of motion in your hamstrings. If this is the case, usually the lumbar spine will come into flexion, putting you at risk for injury. This may the back pain many complain about when deadlifting.
However, remember, the deadlift is an exercise that puts lots of stress on your body overall, so some lower back soreness discomfort may come with it.
Ideally, you would regress the exercise until you increase your mobility to pick up the bar from the floor. Regressing the exercise would look like performing a trap bar deadlift, or for some Individuals it might even be a banded hip hinge just wiring the brain to extend the hips back.
Depending on an individuals foundation, and skillset, exercises might look different.
Static stretching, foam rolling, or even percussion therapy may aid in the progress of increasing your range of motion. However, some type of activation is recommended as well. Usually, an individual with over facilitated hamstrings may benefit from a program that includes corrective exercise, targeting the glutes and hamstrings. Tight hamstrings may also mean weak hamstrings.
You may also look at different foot positions when performing deadlifts. Exercises such as a staggered-stance deadlift, or a single leg deadlift, usually place greater emphasis on one leg and may be more challenging. These exercises require the proper amounts of stability and coordination in the hips and ankles to maximize the outcome. Usually, I would recommend starting with a bilateral stance to provide a more stable base, and as you improve your foundation, expanding to asymmetrical hinge patterns as well as unilateral.
You may also look at hinging in different planes of motion. Usually, the sagittal plane of motion is what seems to be the most popular when resistance training. This entails positions where one is moving into flexion or extension, forward or back. Amplifying your training by hinging in different planes of motion is something I would recommend. This may improve your stability and coordination, while expanding upon your movement as well as minimize risk of injury over time. Exercises such as hip airplanes that place you in a frontal plane of motion (lateral), activating your adductors and abductors, is an example.
To sum up, it is crucial to establish an understanding of your foundation, to progress safely and efficiently in your journey while developing strength. This not only will likely prevent injury, but also maximize on muscle fiber recruitment, leading to bigger and stronger muscles. It is also recommended to expand your movement into different planes of motion, therefore increasing stability as well as decreasing risk of injury. Lastly, integrating corrective exercise techniques in your programming to where the glutes and hamstrings are targeted, is recommended. This will assist in fortifying your progression.

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