Athletes get most of their power from their hips.
The hip extensors, AKA the glutes, allow an athlete to run, sprint, jump, shuffle, tackle, cut, throw, swing, pivot, along with many other movements that require speed and power.
If you’re lacking strength and power in your hips, you’re short-changing your athletic potential.
Using these 3 exercises, you’ll not only ensure your hips are getting stronger, but that your speed and athleticism improves on the field/court, too.
1. Hip Hinge
One of the most basic and versatile hip-dominant exercises is the hip hinge.
Basically, all it requires is bending your hips and shooting your butt backwards while standing (followed up by reversing the movement).
What’s so great about this exercise is that is it can be used as a teaching tool for those who don’t know how to use their hips properly (and many athletes don’t know how to!)
Reason being, is that when starting out, an athlete can use just his or her bodyweight with the hip hinge.
Once the hip hinge is mastered, the athlete can hold onto a kettlebell (and, eventually, a barbell) in front of the body to make this exercise even harder.
2. Kettlebell Swing
While weight is one variable to make hip hinges harder and force athletes to get stronger, speed is another variable.
The kettlebell swing is essentially is a sped-up version of the hip hinge. This allows an athlete to work within the realm of power (AKA, the combination of speed and force).
For obvious reasons, athletes want to work within the realm of power. The kettlebell swing is perfect for this – it uses the bodyparts that are responsible for powerful movements, and is also a powerful movement in and of itself.
The third and final exercise to be used for developing powerful, explosive hips would be the deadlift.
The deadlift, like the hinge and swing, involve bending primarily in the hips, then straightening them out.
What’s unique about the deadlift is that it occurs from a “dead start” and involves maximal strength.
Working from a dead start is useful because many powerful athletic movements occur from a dead start (think of sprinting, for example).
As for maximal strength, this may be confusing for some because maximal strength is usually a slow effort. Won’t lifting heavy weights just get an athlete used to moving slowly?
Wrong. Lifting heavy weights and developing max strength only widens the base for power. When strength is increased, the athlete now has a higher potential for increasing power. It’s like increasing the size of your gas tank. You can only keep filling it more and more.
An intelligently designed program, that involves the correct strength and power exercises, can take an athlete to the next level.
We see too many young doing ineffective (and sometimes downright dangerous) workout programs on their own that they found on the internet or saw their friends doing.
Not only are they wasting their time and effort on something that won’t improve their athletic performance, they’re risking injury and set-backs!
Our priority is to get kids to increase their strength, speed, and power, with the lowest risk of injury.
If you know any kids who could use some assistance with strength training for sports, feel free to send them one of the links below.