Exercises for Hip Extension – 2
Laying prone, you can extend the hip and fire the gluteus maximus. But as we have seen, it is very easy to compensate and substitute other muscles in some way to make up for weakness. When doing a prone hip extension for glut max, in need to be done in a particular way:
- Have the knee flexed to 90 degrees:
- The research is showing that the hamstrings and the adductors work too hard when the glut max is weak. So, to activate glut max we need to take hamstring out of the equation, which we do by placing the leg in this position.
- Stop the back from arching/bearing down:
- The back arches because the lumbar extensors are trying to do the work that the glut max should be doing.
- If you have an arched back, you can place a pillow under your stomach to take out the arch. This will lengthen the back muscles and make them harder to recruit. If your back is relatively neutral (shallow arch), or flat you do not need a pillow.
- Keep the deep abdominal muscles gently contracted to keep a neutral spine posture against the work of the back extensors.
The video below shows me doing this exercise:
This exercise is a great stepping stone to prepare us for the exercise that has been shown by research to be the most effective for improving glut maximus strength and hip extension. (What exercise is that, you ask? Check out our next blog post!)