Hip raises are a core exercise that strengthen and tone all of your back supporting core muscles. While the movement looks simple, it could be one of the most important exercises you can do.
Besides tightening and strengthening your core muscles, the hip raise targets the glute muscles and will help you build added slimming muscle.
Because your glutes are such a large muscle group, you will also benefit from extra fat and calories being burned.
The bridge is a favorite hip raising core exercise. It is designed to strengthen the major abdominal muscles that support your spine and lower back, this will create stability and hopefully lessen any back pain.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted solidly on the floor and your arms at your sides with your palms down.
Engage your abs and lift your hips and butt off the ground. Raise your hips as far as you can. Hold the pose for 5-10 seconds and return to your starting position.
Kim Demonstrating the Bridge Exercise
Make sure to keep your torso locked in a straight line doing this exercise. This will let your butt do the work, not your lower back and hamstrings.
It's a good idea to do the hip raises early in your fitness workout if you are working the lower body. This will warm up glutes and let you use heavier weights doing squats and lunges.
The Bird Dog:
The bird dog is a balancing and stability hip extension exercise that targets your entire core muscle group.
Start out on your hands and knees with your back straight.
Engage your abs and fully extend one leg straight out behind you. And then extend one arm directly out in front of you.
Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and return to your starting position.
Kim Demonstrating the Bird Dog
Try and go slow when you change sides and stay in control, keeping your back in a steady position, also keep your ab muscles engaged at all times.
Benefits of Hip Raises
Body Weight Exercise. Body weight exercises like hip raises are getting more and more popular in the fitness world. After years of pushing exercise machines, trainers have learned that one of the most effective workout tools is actually our own body.
Better Balance. Lifting your hips off the ground will engage your core muscles for stability. This will ultimately improve your balance.
Hip Flexibility. Leg exercises require hip joint movement which results in an increase of strength, agility, and flexibility of the hip joint flexors.
Lower Back Strength. All core exercises work to strengthen the major core muscles that support the lower back. Adding power to these supporting muscles will shift the workload and lessen the strain on the lower back.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.