Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hip and Thigh Exercises

When it comes to lower body functional exercises, the crossover step up is at the top of the list. This move works the glutes (both the gluteus medius and maximums) through all planes of motion with a focus on lateral movement. This lateral movement engages the hips in a different way than traditional step ups, involving both internal and external rotation while working on your coordination and balance. This is a bit of an awkward move so, if you have knee, hip or ankle problems, you may want to skip it. Starting with a lower platform may also help you perfect your form.

Stand with your left side facing a step, bench or platform. If you're more advanced, try a height where your thigh is parallel to the floor as you're stepping.
Hold weights for added intensity, if desired.
Lift the right leg and cross it over the left, placing the foot flat on the step or platform.
Keep your hips square to the front of the room as you press up with the right leg, bringing the left foot beside the right on the bench.
Step back down with the left foot and repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.

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