Those hips don’t lie: Hip accessory exercises

Do or Do Not, There is no Try


Now, I am not usually a fan of saying “There is no try”, but when it comes to certain things; I believe this to be true. When I ask some of my swimmers “Did you do the mobility exercises at home”, “I tried”…… When I ask athletes at the gym “Did you finish your accessory work” and they say “I did most of it”…. You either do it or you don’t. If you do 50% of the work, it DOES NOT mean that you get 50% of the return or strength gain–that is not how the body works. I said this last week and the week before and in most of posts before this one (actually, I don’t know that there is a day that I don’t say this); a well rounded, elite athlete HAS TO work on more than just the given movement they intend to compete in.

I was talking with one of my female athletes at the gym and she said “It sucks to do things that you are not good at, especially when you go from heavy dead lifts one day to light weight cleans the next” , but you cannot only do the things you are good at and expect to ever get past the point you are currently at. Think about it, that would be like MJ just giving us the moon walk and calling it good; never to grace us with all of that hip to toe, dirty-dancing goodness.

Sorry, had to make a point. Today’s post is really an extension of what I talked about last week, The Hip. We all ready provided some exercises for the posterior chain  and some mobility exercises for the hip flexor, so you can refer back to those as needed while reading this article. I think the best way to illustrate what we are trying to work is with some anatomical pictures:



glutes1311417224424 Posterior

This is the musculature that surrounds the hip and keeps it stable and functional. When we have hip pain it tends to be from the over development of one group of musculature (usually the Anterior side) and the under-development of another group of musculature (the posterior side). That being said, here are some auxiliary exercises that you can add in to your routine to help rehab a current injury or keep building strength and avoid some imbalances:

Start with an OH Lunge:

oh lunge down oh lunge up oh lunge down 2


  • Mid-line stability
  • OH Mobilization
  • Strengthening of the Glute, Quads, and Core musculature

As humans, we are most comfortable with being on both feet at the same time. This is the way we are built, it is the most stable position and gives us the best mechanical advantage. This is also how we can start to develop issues, especially in our squat. (Second picture was captured mid-sneeze, enjoy)

Start by taking a weight and placing it overhead with locked elbows. Take your first lunge forward and make sure that your leg comes to a solid 90 degree bend, step up, and repeat on the other side. Notice that I am stepping out from my mid-line, this helps to activate the glute musculature, which in turn helps keep us from kicking one hip or the other out during a squats and pulls. 3-4 sets by 8-15 reps.


step up down step up up


  • Strengthening of the Glute, Quads, and Core musculature
  • Hip stabilization
  • Taking up a squat rack so people can’t curl in them

This is the one time that it is okay to take up a squat rack with something other than squats (although you can do this with dumbbells as well). This exercise can be used to greatly strengthen the legs or can be used as a rehabilitation exercise if you have an issue with kicking one hip out while you squat.

To start, grab a barbell and place it on your back like you were going to squat. Take one leg and place it on a box that will give you a little more than a 90 degree bend in that knee (if using this as a rehab exercise, start with a smaller box and if need be, start without a bar). Step-up, then step back down and repeat. The biggest thing to watch for while doing this is hip kick-out of the elevated leg. 3-4 sets by 8-15 reps

Waiter Squats:

  • waiter squat down waiter squat up


  • Mid-line Stability
  • Increase squat depth
  • Front rack mobility

Take a KB, place it in one hand, keep that elbow high, and squat. Make sure to keep the hips in line and that elbow up nice and high. When I do these, I like to squat down and hold for a 2-3 count to get a little bit of a squat mobilization exercise as well. 3-4 sets by 8-15 reps. 

3 simple exercises that you can add post-workout to help those hips out. Remember, “There is no try”, so do the accessory work even if your tired, because it will pay off in the long run.

Make sure to stop by the gym this week and get those gently used athletic clothes to us so we can give them to some kids in need and they can get there sweat on in style!

Also, make sure and keep a look out for the sign-up for this:

PHP Lift Off

Registration starts next week, so make sure and tell some friends who lift about it, it is going to be a blast!!

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