We focus a lot (and rightly so) on strengthening the hip extensors and the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes). However, it’s important not to forget that we need to have a balance of strength around all of our major joints.⠀
Exercise selection, program design, and therefore improving wellbeing and performance; is about understanding where an individuals deficits are, and then working on them – whilst not neglecting any of the other fundamental movement patterns.⠀
This banded prone hip flexor exercise allows training of active hip flexion (necessary in almost every sport as well as day to day life) whilst incorporating core stability. ⠀
All four of our major joints move in three planes, and we should pay attention to all of them.
The loading of this resistance band is very low relative to the external loads used during hip extension exercises (squats, deadlift, hip thrusts), this – along with the volume and frequency of programming the exercise – means we’re unlikely to make someone ‘hip flexor dominant’.
I tend to program these quite early on when working with runners and field athletes – the ‘swing’ phase of gait is perhaps a little misleading when we look at sports – introducing an active and powerful hip flexion is hands down the quickest way to make someone quicker. I find a half inch or 1 inch band gives the right amount of resistance to give some neural stimulation, whilst still allowing for a controlled, powerful, and accelerated movement.
As with most things in life, the skill is in the recipe, not the ingredient.