The Hip Raise
This is by FAR one of my favorite exercises. It’s not complicated, low impact and easily modified to change the intensity. In short, you need to be doing this move! It’s also killer for your butt & hamstrings. Add this move now and you’ll be reaching for the short shorts in no time.
What it works; Glutes, Hamstrings, Abdominals, Lower Back
The glutes are your biggest muscle group & more muscle in your booty will mean bigger calorie burns overall. Strengthening your hamstring also helps to stabilize your knees, preventing knee-related injury.
How to do it; (see video instructions below)
1. On a mat or a flat towel, lie on your back, palms facing upwards. Arms can be extended to your side (T-shape), or next to your body (parallel) and your knees should be bent.
2. Separate your knees about 6 inches apart, feet should be about shoulder distance apart. Feet planted on the floor.
3. Pressing your heels into the floor, lift your hips off the ground. Your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Your toes can come off the floor, or you can keep a flat foot.
4. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your hips. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Lower back to the ground.
Repeat 12-20 times per set.
The longer you pause, the more intense the exercise. Work your way up to 8 to 10 seconds. Keep your knees the same distance as you move up and down. You control the move, not the other way around.
Try one or two of these modifications to make the move more difficult & prevent a plateau!
- Start with feet & knees together, narrow and squeeze the inner thigh on the way up.
- Add a weight. Place it on your hips, and hold it in place with your hands.
- Grip a weight or a towel with your inner thighs.
- Add a resistance band. Loop it around your legs, just above your knee.
- Put your feet on an stability ball or chair. Lift your hips, and lower. The instability will also get you a great core workout.
- Pulse it. Hold the raise, and pulse in place for 8 counts then lower. Repeat.
To challenge yourself, you can also try the single-legged Hip Raise.
It’s the same form as the basic Hip Raise. Keep your knees aligned with one another for the full move. Extend one foot out so that it forms a straight line with your knees, hips and shoulders. Raise. Do 10-12 reps on one side, then switch.
Beginners, you can lower the leg to the floor before each raise. Intermediate to Advanced, keep the leg up. If the move becomes easy, you can modify it with any of the modifications listed above.
Try the Reverse Crunches/Hip Raise combo
3 sets: No breaks in between.