How to do Hip Extensions

What are Hip Extensions?

Hip Extensions strengthen your core and your leg muscles. Your lower back and abdominal muscles are engaged in the upward and downward movement of your lower body. Your hamstrings (muscles on the backside of your legs) and your gluteals (muscles on your bottom) are also targeted in this movement. This exercise is simple yet effective, and is a great movement to add to any conditioning program. 

The following muscle groups are engaged by hip extensions:

  • Legs
  • Core

How to Do Hip Extensions (Instructions):

Start in a supine position (on your back), with your feet out in front of you, knees bent, and your arms laying by your side. Raise your bottom and your lower back up off the ground until an imaginary line is created at a 45 degree angle from your chest up to your knees. At the top of the movement, contract your gluteal muscles, and then return back to the starting position. Repeat.

Trainer Tips for Hip Extensions: 

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Hold your position at the top of the movement for 1-2 seconds. 
    • Perform the movement slowly. Count to 2 as you raise your lower body, hold for 2 seconds at the top of the positions, and count to 4 as you lower your lower body.
    • Place your feet on an elevated surface (chair, bench, etc…) and perform the movement. 
    • Perform with only one leg. 
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Move your feet farther away from you when lying on your back. This will reduce the height your lower body reaches at the top of the movement. 
  • Application:
    • Do a “Ladder” workout with Hip Extensions.
      • A “Ladder” is a workout that is comprised of  ascending and descending repetitions. For example:
        • Perform one hip extension, then rest. Perform two hip extensions, then rest. Keep ascending until you feel like you are going to fail. Once you reach the failure point (let’s say 10), rest, then perform nine hip extensions, then rest. Descend until you are back at one.
Hip Extensions are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can learn more about here