It’s the Hip Abduction, and We’ll Show You How to Do it Right!
Want insider info on one of the best ways you can become a stronger cyclist, spinner, or runner? Teaser, it’s all in the hips. Cat Kom, founder of Studio SWEAT onDemand – an online fitness app best known for Spinning and other total body workouts – is here to give you all the details.
Your hips are ball & socket joints that primarily move in 4 ways:
- Hip Flexion – When the knee comes closer to the chest
- Hip Extension – When the knee moves away from the chest
- Hip Abduction – Moving your leg away from the body midline
- Hip Adduction – Moving your leg toward the body midline
Getting and keeping the muscles that assist in all those movements strong and healthy is necessary if you want to have good form for most cardio activities like running and cycling. The hip and related muscles also play a huge part in occupational movement, like walking.
Your bigger, more well-know muscles like your gluteus maximus, quads, and hamstrings are going to assist in your hip flexion and extension. You can work those with your typical squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
Most of you know that for hip adduction (moving leg to midline) you’ve gotta work those inner thigh muscles. But what about abduction? Because that is the movement Cat sees most people do incorrectly when it comes to hip strengthening exercises.
So what does Cat consider the best hip abductor exercise and why? The move has a pretty “fancy” name…Hip Abductions. Cat considers it the best because it’s the one most people can and will do. So let’s talk about how to do it right (and how that gets messed up).
How To Do It:
- Stand up with your legs about hip-width apart, straight legs but with a softness in the knee (not locked out), and feet parallel-ish.
- Flex your ankle on one leg and move (lift) the leg away from your body.
- Simple enough right?
- Avoid pointing your toes to the sky, and rather try to keep your feet parallel, almost pointing the toes down on that moving leg. If you point your toes to the sky, you don’t target the gluteus medius (think of this as your side butt muscle), which is the muscle you really want to target when you want to strengthen your hips for running, riding, etc.
- Starter Movements, or if you struggle with balance:
- Use a wall or your bike for added balance
- Side Lying
- Want to spice it up?
- Use Mini Bands
- Or both
We sure hope these tips help you and yo hips! If you want to see a bunch more exercises for the smaller muscle groups, Cat’s got a great workout routine in the SSoD app that’s a 30 Min Inner AND Outer Thigh & Hip Workout. Check out a Free Trial over on Studio SWEAT onDemand! Download the app, or if you happen to live in southern California, visit us in our San Diego studio.