It might be tempting to ignore an exercise that is considered an abdominal exercise or one that better fits a yoga studio than a gym for bodybuilding. However, while the hip raise exercise looks easy, it is one of the most important exercise plans a savvy trainer can do because it not only works on your core but switches on your glutes.
Hip raises explained
The glutes are one of the largest and most powerful muscles in your body. You can put it through a lot of stress when you sit for hours at your job, eventually making you weaker in almost every lower body exercise you engage in.
What’s more, when your glutes are weak, the pelvis tends to tilt forward, and this not only exerts pressure on your lower spine but pushes the lower abdomen forward, causing your belly to stick out. With hip raise, however, you can make your glutes powerful again.
And as a significant muscular part of your body, your glutes are one of the top calorie burners of your body.
So, are you ready to give it a try? Are you set to let your glutes and thighs burn like never before? Just apply the instructions that follow.
Hip raises – the right technique
To begin, lay on an exercise mat floor, then roll back until your head and back are comfortably resting on the mat.
Place your arms down by your side for balance, raise your legs, so they are straight facing the ceiling and perpendicular to your torso. Having a slight bend in the knee will be just fine, though you can push to straighten the knees as you perform the exercise over time so that you can stretch the hamstring.
Act as though you want to point your toes down facing your head. Flex your feet at the ankle for a little stretch. You can also flex your feet backward, point your toes up towards the ceiling, or allow them rest perpendicular to the floor, with whatever you feel comfortable. Many trainers have discovered that pointing the toes toward the ceiling helps to improve focus during the hip raise.
Pull your bellybutton or navel towards the spine, then inhale.
Exhale as you try to raise your hips few inches away from the floor. Ensure your legs remain pointed straight up. As you push your legs to face the ceiling, ensure your hips leave the floor, and pull the lower abdominal muscles in as you raise.
Do not raise your head during the hip lift, ensure it rests on the floor throughout the exercise. Lower your hips slowly back to the flow, and inhale.
Repeat this process between 10 to 12 times for a set.
Targeted muscles during the exercise
Primary: Gluteal Muscles (Glutes) and Hamstrings.
Secondary: Oblique and Abs and Middle and Lower back.
Vary your workout to reach your goals
Applying variations to a specific workout plan will keep the routine interesting and challenging for your body. As you perform a particular exercise, your body develops to match the challenge before it, which is definitely your goal.
However, if you continue with the same routine throughout the next two weeks, the exercise will become more natural and less challenging. Indeed, the body is exceptional with adjusting to any workload you present it. So you can apply different movements for your core muscles, glutes, thighs, and hips to keep the body “on its toes” all the time.
Sculpting the perfect mid-section/bottom
As stated earlier, the hip raise exercise targets your core and glutes. While some may mistake hip flexors for a leg muscle, it is an important part of your core. By using hip raises to target your hip flexors, you can build your glutes and tone your abs too.
And aside the amazing feel and build hip raises give you, they have significant health benefits. Unless your office has a standing desk where you work, you probably spend most of your working hours seated.
Sitting for prolonged periods shortens your hip flexors, and this can weaken the glutes and cause lower back pain. Hip raises will not only stretch your hip flexors. It also strengthens your glutes as well – an ideal remedy for a typical desk job.
Hip raise exercise helps to burn calories. But to achieve a slimming boost, you could consider adding a few fat burning exercise plans such as a bodyweight circuit of push-ups, squats, squat jumps, and walking lunges.
Hop on the treadmill if you are at the gym so you can give your thighs and glutes some touch. You could also add running or hiking to your plan, especially if you are a lover of nature. A combination of hip raises, and some extra cardio can help you burn calories sooner.
You probably know about the impact of diet on your workout plan – any workout plan. This doesn’t mean you should starve yourself, but incorporate a healthy decision-making process in your kitchen. Making better decisions will help you to achieve top results.
If booty building is your primary goal, you would not have to cut off too many calorie-rich foods during this exercise. Eating plenty of protein will help to strengthen your glutes as you train. Making smart food choices means that you ensure your satisfaction at every meal. On the other hand, it is pretty easy to binge-eat if you settle for junk food, and you’ll end up with more fat muscles.
You might want to cut your calorie intake by 5-10% while you’re on the hip raise exercise plan to slim your thighs. While cutting down on your calories, ensure you go for foods that are nutritious and satisfying. If you eat foods with too many calories, you’d barely have enough strength for the exercise.
The hip raises exercise can really improve your overall posture and core strength. Even though it looks like an easy exercise performing it with perfect technique is harder than it seems.
Will you reconsider this exercise or were you already using it? Let me know in the comments below and thank you for reading.