Many of us head to the gym to do squats and deadlifts with heavy weights. These are great resistance exercises to gain lower body strength, including in the quadricep, gluteal and hamstring muscles. These are the large power muscles that help you run fast and jump higher.
However, while we usually prioritise the classic squat and deadlift exercises, we may be lacking focus on recruiting our smaller stabilizing muscles at the hip. The hip abductor, adductor and rotator muscles need sufficient strength and endurance to provide hip and knee stability, i.e. they hold your legs in the right position for the power muscles to get their work done.
When was the last time you incorporated different corrective exercises to supplement your main set?
In the meantime, challenge yourself with these equipment-free pilates-based exercises that you’ll find me instructing often in my Clinical Exercise classes!
Keep both feet lifted. Open and close the top knee, rotate at the hip joint.
Purpose: Isolate the hard-to-find gluteus medius muscle on the side of your hip, which provides lateral hip stability.
Squeeze and lift the bottom up, then alternate lifting one leg up at a time. Hold strong and push hard through the heel of the supporting leg!
Purpose: Anti-rotation hip stability, strengthen hip extensor muscles,
Balance on one leg close to the wall. Push your inside knee against the wall; this should burn your standing hip muscles! Maintain this outward push as you perform a squat.
Purpose: Balance and lower leg strength in a single leg squat.
If these exercises have sparked your interest or you’re unsure on what exercises you should be doing, have a chat to our physiotherapists for guidance to meet your body’s and health goals.