11 Minute Glutes and Hips
Guess which muscle groups are the most neglected by office dwellers, those getting back into fitness, and even those who have been exercising for a long time? It’s the hips and the glutes. Your gluteus maximus is your largest muscle as well as one of the strongest. If you have strong glutes and good hip mobility and flexibility, the chance for injury in your lower extremities decreases. Don’t want shin splints? Work your hips and glutes. You don’t want what’s supposed to be the strongest piece of the chain to the weakest. Run through this 11 minute glutes and hips program a few times a week. I’ll be adding more variations in the very near future.
For all of these exercises you should engage your core and glutes. I realized at the end of writing this piece I didn’t say that everywhere.
Exercise 1: Prisoner Squat
The prisoner squat is similar to the regular squat with one variation, you put your hands behind your head. Keep your elbows pressed back so you can’t see them when facing forward. Perform a regular squat (with your knees about shoulder width apart), going as deep as your body will allow without rounding in the spine or having your knees track over your toes. Also, try to make sure your knees track over your second and third toes. (I have a learn how to squat post with photos coming very shortly so stay tuned.) Breathe in going down, breathe out coming up.
Exercise 2: Standing Deadlift Death Marches
This is a hinging exercise. Take a step. Now bend the knee on the leg in front. Keep the back leg stiff. Hinge at the waist and push your hips back without rotating. You should feel this in the glute of your back leg. In round 2 of the video below I start bending my back leg turning it into a hamstring stretch, which isn’t the end of the world for me due to tight hamstrings, but hey my hamstrings are tight because my glutes aren’t doing what they should be doing.
Exercise 3: Weaker Leg Forward Lunge
Everyone has a weaker side and a more dominant side. Do the weaker side first because you have a little bit more energy. Keep your spine upright. Drop to your knee on the ground with your back leg and your toes touching the ground. Bend your knee on the front leg. As with the squat, make sure your knee doesn’t proceed over your toes and is in line with the 2nd and 3rd toes of your feet.
Exercise 4: Stronger Leg Forward Lunge
Do what I just described above but with the other leg.
Exercise 5: Walking Crab Walk
I’ve also heard this called the lateral walk, but looking that up on youtube produced varying results. Get yourself into a half squat position with your glutes pushed behind you and bend at the knees. Have your feet about shoulder width apart. Keep your toes pointed forward. Now step sideways. Your feet will now be further than shoulder width apart. Bring them back to shoulder width apart and step again. We’re only doing this exercise once so go one direction for 15 seconds (or until you run out of room), then go the other direction.
Exercise 6: Weaker Side Clamshell
This was the first exercise my physical therapist at TherapyDia PDX taught me when I decided I wanted to move again (I had IT band issues.) Lay on your side with your knees slightly bent in front of you. Keep your core tight so you don’t cheat and roll too far forward or too far back. Lift the top leg up until your top foot is resting on your bottom foot. Then close back up. Your knees and legs will look like a clamshell while performing this move.
Exercise 7: Stronger Side Clamshell
Switch sides and do what I described above all over again.
Exercise 8: Glute Bridge
This is also a recommended exercise by physical therapists and chiropractors. Lie on your back with your hands at your sides. Bend your knees and try to get your feet below your knees. Engage your core, squeeze your glutes and push your hips up into the air. If I drew a line from back to knees it should be straight. Drop your hips back down and do it again.
And that’s 11 minute glutes and hips. Exercises 4-8 can be performed with a small therapy band (affiliate link, if you order I’ll get a 4% commission from the sale) as can exercise 1. If you only want to do this 1 or 2 times this week throw in my Hip and Glute Mini Band routine for a 3rd day.