You are here

6 Mini Resistance Band Exercises for Hip Strength

Building up the muscles surrounding your hip can help round out your booty, but hip strength is important regardless of your aesthetic goals. (Ditto with butt strength in general.) You really need to give the muscles extra attention if you tend to sit for long stretches of time.

"Excessive time behind a desk or steering wheel leads to poor posture, which, in turn, creates strength and flexibility imbalances within the muscles around the hip joint," says Brad Walker, director of education at StretchLab, a Los Angeles–based assisted stretching studio (see 7 Must-Try Hip Stretches for Runners). And, yep, you really need to pay attention if you're also a runner. Research suggests that, since running builds up the quads, calves, and hamstrings more than the hip area muscles, runners often develop a muscle imbalance which can cause injury. The solution: Build up the weaker muscles with additional strength training. (Here are the five essential cross-training workouts all runners need.)

Hitting up the hip abduction machine helps, but you can also work the muscles around the hip without stopping at the gym. Add some resistance with a mini band to make an at-home workout more challenging. Kit Rich, a trainer who's worked with Jennifer Lawrence and Kesha, created this six-move hip-strengthening workout. Together, the moves hit the hamstrings, quads, hip abductors, and lower abs, and improve hip flexibility and pelvic stability. Make sure you use a band with enough resistance to be challenging—but not so much that it restricts your range of motion, says Rich. (She used the lightest band from her KICHGO kit.) Perform these moves on the reg, and your hip muscles will no longer be the weakest link.

How it works: Perform each move with a resistance band looped around legs, right above knees.

Total Time: up to 15 minutes

You will need: Resistance band

1. Standing Outer-Thigh Lift

A.

Stand on left leg with knee slightly bent, right leg extended toward back-right diagonal and a mini band looped around both legs just above knees.

B.

Lift right leg off the floor and squeeze outer thigh at the top of the movement. Hold, then lower leg back to the ground.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10 to 20 per side

Mistakes and Tips:

Keep tailbone down and core engaged. Keep shoulders pressed down and back and keep weight in standing heel.

2. Squat to Lateral Leg Lift

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and mini band around both legs just above knees. Lower into a quarter squat to start.

B.

Push into heels to stand, while raising right leg to the side, foot flexed.

C.

Lower right leg and bend knees to return to starting position.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10 to 20 per side

Mistakes and Tips:

When raising leg, keep hips parallel to the ground. Keep weight in heels during squat so that knees stay behind toes.

3. Pilates Clam Heel Tap/Knee Tap

A.

Lie on left side with left hand supporting head, knees bent and a mini band looped around both legs just above knees. Lift heels off the floor, then slowly rotate right leg from the hip socket to open right knee, keeping heels together.

B.

Lower right knee to tap left knee while raising right heel toward the ceiling.

C.

Raise right knee toward the ceiling while lowering right heel to left heel.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10 to 20 per side

Mistakes and Tips:

Keep core engaged to maintain hip alignment throughout the exercise. If performing the move with the bottom foot lifted is too difficult, rest it on the ground.

4. Out-In Single-Leg Hip Raise

A.

Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and legs hip-width apart with a mini band looped around both legs just above knees. Engage abs and drive through heels to lift hips toward the ceiling. Straighten left knee to extend leg off the ground to start.

B.

Slowly extend left leg to the side, pulling against the mini band. Pull left leg in to return to starting position. Repeat without lowering hips to the ground.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10 to 20 per side

Mistakes and Tips:

Engage abs and glutes throughout the exercise. Keep hips in line with the ground and space between chin and chest.

5. Shuffle to Outer-Thigh V

A.

Lie faceup with legs extended toward the ceiling, feet flexed and hip-width apart, a mini band looped around both ankles to start.

B.

Exhale and pull against mini band to open legs wider than hip-width apart. Return to starting position.

C.

Keeping right leg in place, lower left leg toward the floor. Return to starting position, then repeat on the other side. That's 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10 to 20

Mistakes and Tips:

Keep back pressed into the floor. Keep legs as straight as possible to challenge the lower abs.

6. Pilates Kneeling Side Kick

A.

Balance on left knee and left hand, right leg extended with right foot resting on the ground and a mini band looped around both legs with mini band just above knees.

B.

Squeeze right outer thigh to lift straight right leg off the floor until parallel, then lower right leg to return to starting position.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10 to 12 per side

Mistakes and Tips:

Keep back straight and try to keep pelvis and torso completely still. Keep abs engaged throughout the exercise.

Comments

Add a comment