We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Resistance band workouts are low-impact, portable and strengthening.
Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images
If you experience pain in your lower back, legs or feet, you might be wise to turn to your hips for answers. A study performed by Reed Ferber, Ph. D., director of the University of Calgary's Running Injury Clinic, found that 93 percent of patients who complained about leg pain had weak hip muscles. Implementing an exercise program that targets the hip flexor muscles is crucial step in maintaining stable pelvis, hip and leg health.
Exercise and the Hip Flexors
The hip flexors are a series of muscles that work together synergistically to flex the hips toward the chest -- think of the movement needed to bring your knees in toward your chest. Cross-training your hip flexor muscles with resistance band exercises that target hip flexion, adduction and abduction makes for a well-rounded exercise routine.
Hip flexion is characterized by the movement of the hip toward the chest. This movement can also position the knee or thigh closer to the chest. To strengthen the hip flexors, wrap one end of a resistance band around a steady anchor and place the loose end around your left ankle. Turn to face away from the anchor and take a few steps away from the anchor until the band is taut. Keeping your right leg straight and engaged, lift your left leg toward the ceiling for a count of two. Release your left leg down to the floor and repeat nine more times for a total of 10 repetitions. Switch legs and repeat the exercise on your right leg.
The hip flexor muscle group includes the hip adductors -- the muscles responsible for moving the hips, thighs and knees toward the body's central axis. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends cross-training the hip flexor muscles along several axes to build greater strength and resilience. To strengthen the hip adductors, place one end of a resistance band around a sturdy anchor and wrap the other end around your left ankle. Position your body so that your left side faces the anchor and walk a few steps away from the anchor until band pulls taut. Stagger your stance so the right foot is positioned slightly behind the left. Raise the left leg and move it across your body until it passes your right leg. Release your left leg and perform 10 repetitions on each leg.
The hip abductor muscles -- also part of the hip flexor muscle group -- support movement of the hips, thighs and knees away from your body's central axis. To strengthen the hip abductor muscles, affix one end of a resistance band to a sturdy anchor. Wrap the loose end of the resistance band around your left ankle and stand with your right side facing the anchor. The resistance band should cross the body in front of the right foot. Take a few steps away from the anchor until the resistance band is taut. Lift your left leg away from the body for two seconds and return your left foot to the floor. Repeat this movement 10 times on each leg.
Tips and Considerations
Before starting a new exercise program, consult your physician. Reduce your risk of injury or muscle strain by adequately warming up before each exercise session. To warm up properly, perform five to 10 minutes of light to moderate aerobic activity -- such as walking, jogging in place or jumping jacks. After you exercise, perform stretches -- a low runner's lunge is an appropriate choice -- and cool down with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise.