Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Taking a peak into those foundational muscles involved in growing that peach and strengthening that good old hip extension!
Now I am sure I don’t have to tell you why a correct hip extension is more than important to almost every functional movement you find yourself performing both in everyday life as well as in the gym!
These power muscles are none other than your Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, Transverse Abdominis, Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus (hamstring muscles); these beauties are what help generate the force needed to bend over and pick up a box to pulling that max deadlift weight - they are what engage whether standing, kneeling, or laying.
When performing hip extension specific lifts I explain to my clients that these are the muscles they should feel activating during those movements - if they do we know their posterior muscles are adequately being fired and utilized.
However, the majority of the athletes and clients I train tend to relay that during these movements tension/aching is felt in the following areas:
Lower Back (emphasis ilopsoas)
Knee’s (front or sides of kneecap)
Hip Flexor Complex (combo of: TFL, Rectus Femoris, Sartorius, & ilopsoas)
This is a great sign that the main movement muscles are not correctly firing and secondary movement muscles are creating a compensation in order to achieve range of motion. This can create an ongoing issue if not corrected.
When spotted, these are the cues I give them:
Consider the following:
Exaggerating hips backwards (sometimes we tend not to hip hinge as much as we think)
Tuck your pelvis: Imagine there is a string from your pelvis that is being pulled towards the sky; allow hips to tuck & draw belly button in and keep hovering above hips.
Contract Gluteals (squeeze that booty the entire time)
Ensure knees are neutral (not diving in or away from body, but stacked on shoelaces)
Keep spine neutral: Keep body active entire time this will make sure you are not collapsing into the lift
Keep hips neutral: make sure one side doesn’t dip more than the other and that glute activation is equal within the entire glute (bottom, top, and sides)
Don't rush: Be mindful of the movement you are performing and the muscles that are being used.
Stay strong and healthy my friends!