Hip extensions are often overlooked in fitness as most people concentrate on their core or legs or arms. However, they play an important role in keeping our bodies strong and flexible. So, it’s a good idea to add a few hip extension exercises to your workout routine – no matter if you are a man or woman.
If you are looking for some hip extension exercises to add to your routine, here are the 10 best hip extension exercises for muscle gain and weight loss.
Check out the list below and find the right exercises for you! Good luck!
The Importance Of Hip Extension
First, let’s talk about hip extensions – what are they and why are they so important?
Hip extension is when you extend your hip joint to the angle between your thighs and your pelvis increases.
Each and every day, we all extend our hips in some way – walking, climbing stairs, running, kicking, and so much more. So, if you want to improve your mobility, you need to make sure you can improve your hip extension.
Because good hip extension is important for mobility, it’s something fitness enthusiasts need to pay attention to. If you want to burn some fat off your body or build your muscles, you are going to need to stay flexible and mobile.
How exactly are you supposed to exercise efficiently if you can extend your leg back behind your pelvis?
So, good hip extension is vital for keeping fit and improving your workout performance.
Despite this, a lot of people tend to overlook hip extension exercises. They are often recommended to women to help prepare their bodies for childbirth and because of this, a lot of men or child-free women assume they don’t need to pay close attention to their hip extension.
However, as we discussed earlier, hip extension is important for exercising and mobility – not just childbirth.
Best Hip Extension Exercises For You To Try
So, it’s important to add hip extension exercises to your routine no matter what – so now you just need to find the best exercises for you. Here’s a list of the best hip extension exercises for you to try out. So, check out the list below!
1. Glute Bridges
The go-to exercise for hip extensions is glute bridges.
Glute bridges are often included in prenatal and postnatal workouts because they do such a good job of improving your hip extensions. They work your glutes as well as your hamstrings and thigh muscles – all of which are important for hip extension!
Plus, it’s super easy to do. All you need is some floor space where you can comfortably lie down, bend your knees, and start lifting your hips upwards. You can do them at home, wearing any kind of comfortable clothing, and you don’t require any equipment.
So, you shouldn’t struggle with trying to fit a few reputations of glute bridges into your daily routine!
Hip extension helps with climbing stairs so it just makes sense that one of the best hip extension exercises is the step-up.
It’s simple and uses lunging, stepping up movement to help build functional strength in your lower body. Here, you use your quadricep muscles, your glutes, and your hamstrings so these muscles grow nice and strong.
By moving your legs upwards, you are extending your hips back and forth to increase flexibility – and burning fat as you do so!
You can do step-ups anywhere as long as you have a step. If you want to up the difficulty, try holding a pair of dumbbells while you work.
Kickbacks, or donkey kickbacks, are a type of isolation exercise that works your glutes. This means you won’t just be targeting your gluteus maximus – you will also be working the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, all of which help improve your hip extension.
To try a set of kickbacks, you will need space to get on your hands and knees. Push one leg at a time straight back, hold, and bring it back in. This will also engage your core muscles to help tone your stomach as well as your posterior and thighs.
4. Standing Kickbacks
Traditional kickbacks are performed on your hands and knees but it’s possible to try them out while standing up. This makes the exercise easier for those with more severe mobility problems who can’t get comfortably down and up from the floor.
Instead, you just lean against a wall and extend your legs back as far as you can go. To up the difficulty, try leaning on a hair so you can stretch your back parallel to your extended leg.
This exercise will work the same muscles as a regular kickback but it’s adjusted so more people can comfortably perform it.
5. Walking Lunges
Good hip extension can improve your walking so to help improve your hip extension, try walking lunges. These are just like walking but extremely exaggerated – with each step you take, you drop into a lunge.
They may look a little silly but lunges like these are great for increasing your range of motion, your flexibility, and loosening up your hips and hamstrings. As a result, a lot of runners and athletes do walking lunges in their warm-ups.
6. Hip Thrust
For this exercise, you will need the aid of a bench (or stability ball or a couch) and a weight bar. Rest your shoulders on the bench, plant your feet, and lift up your hips.
To keep your body parallel to the ground, you will need to engage your glutes, back muscles, and thighs – so it’s great for strengthening these muscles!
While you do this, you will need to place a weight bar across the hips but don’t use your arms to lift. Instead, your glutes and core muscles will engage to keep your body up! Lower your hips and raise them up in repetitions to really work those muscles!
7. Upright Hip Thrusts
A good alternative to the traditional hip thrust is the upright hip thrust. They require no additional equipment (other than padding for the knees) and are easier for beginners.
Instead, you kneel on the ground with your knees apart and shins flat to the ground. Put your hands on your hips and push your hips back until your posterior touches your calves, then push them back up to your original position.
This works the muscles in the same way as a hip thrust!
8. Standing Cable Hip Extension
If you have access to a cable apparatus, then try out this exercise!
As the name suggests, it’s perfect for improving your hip extension and building strength in the gluteus maximus and hamstrings. Just tie a table to your ankle so that when you extend your leg backward, it has plenty of resistance.
9. Romanian Deadlifts
Romanian deadlifting is a method of weight lifting that uses the same technique without raising the weights upwards. Instead, you just lift the weights off the ground, raising it to your hips before lowering it again.
This works your back and hip muscles in order to keep the correct posture to lift!
10. Kettlebell Swings
Finally, we have kettlebell swings. This exercise has a ton of different benefits and as a result, it’s often used in workouts.
One such benefit is that it loosens up your hips and strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. So, it’s great not only for hip extension but for toning the muscles in the area and supporting weight loss.
There are lots of great exercises you can use to strengthen the muscles needed to move your hips. They also have additional benefits such as improving your flexibility and supporting weight loss.
So, no matter what the reason, these hip extension exercises will help strengthen the important muscles around your hips and tone the area so you can look and feel great.
Frequently Asked Questions
Poor hip extension can be caused by many different reasons. There are two leading causes – a lack of mobility, and injury.
Many of us spend most of our time sitting down and because of this, this lack of movement can impair our mobility over time. The less you move, the less flexible and mobile you become – so regular exercise and movement are key for keeping your hip extension good.
The second cause is injury. Injured muscles around your legs and gluteus maximus can make it difficult for you to extend your hips. You can suffer these kinds of injuries anywhere – giving birth, exercising, collisions, falling, etc.
Exercising these muscles to build strength is a great way to improve your hip extension.
The gluteus maximus is the most important and powerful muscle used in hip extensions. It’s the biggest muscle in your buttocks This muscle helps rotate the hips and so, it plays a key role in hip extensions.
However, it doesn’t work alone. Other important muscles used in hip extensions include your hamstrings and the posterior head of your adductor magnus (that’s a large muscle that runs down your thigh).