Happy Wednesday! I am already confused by the days of the week and we have only been back for three days. It’s one of those weeks where every day feels like it should be a different week day.
Thank goodness for that training plan keeping me on track! It IS Wednesday, so I have another Wednesday Workout for you! Today’s workout is focused on the hips, hamstring, and butt – my three weakest areas (besides arms of course;).
As I started my usual strength training workout yesterday I discovered that I lost a lot of localized strength in my hips and hamstrings these past 10 or so days from not working out. All of the moves that were finally becoming easy felt ridiculously hard again! I added some extra moves into my usual routine to add a little more emphasis on those weak spots, in hopes of regaining that strength again soon.
Here are my favorite moves to improve hip and hamstring strength:
(Sorry for the awkward pictures;)
- Leg Raises
- I am always surprised by how weak my hips are when I start this simple move. I usually do this move with 20 reps on each leg, laying on each side (on back, on right side, on front, and on left side). To create a little more of a challenge, I sometimes add 5 pound ankle weights to increase the resistance.
- This is one of the moves that I do every day! I hold the bridge for a full minute and can always notice when my hips are weak or tired because I feel it in this move.
- One Leg Bridges
- Same idea as the regular bridge, but for this one I straighten one leg out while holding for about 20 seconds. This is especially hard for me; I always try to keep the leg that is on the ground as in line as possible to avoid the knee moving out to the side, but as you can see in the picture – I still need some more work 😉
- After a hold, I dip my hips towards the floor and do about 10 reps of hip raises with one leg out. This is always very challenging for me!
- Leg Extensions with a Workout Ball
- This is by far the most challenging hamstring exercise I have ever attempted! I start with my feet on the ball and knees bent, trying to balance myself. From here, I extend my legs out straight, while keeping my feet on the ball and butt of the ground (trying to keep my body straight without letting my hips dip). I usually aim for 20 reps of this and it always leaves my hamstrings burning!
- Clamshells with Resistance Band
- These are very simple to do but the band adds quite a bit more intensity. All you do is lay on your side with your knees bent and one foot in front of the other. Loop the band around your knees (I like to let it rest right above my actual knee cap). Lift your top knee up as high as you can go without separating your feet – you should feel this in your butt. I usually go for about 20 reps on each side.
- Side Plank with Hip Dips
- The classic side plank! I like to hold myself up on my elbow, but some people prefer straight arm. Once you are situated in the side plank, dip your bottom hip down to touch the ground, and then lift back up. I like to do as many hip dips as possible during a one minute plank on each side.
- Leg Dips
- I learned this move in Physical Therapy and have continued doing it for years. I stand sideways on one stair, with one foot in the air hovering right next to the stair. From here, I squat down on my planted leg, and try to keep my knee in a straight line without letting it dip in or out. I do 20 dips on each leg.
- Hip Raises
- Another move from Physical Therapy. I start in the same position, with one foot on the stair, but this time I raise my outer hip up, so that my foot comes up slightly, and then drop it completely down. I do 20 repetitions on each hip.
- Bosu Ball Squats
- These take the standard squat move and make them more intense. I stand on the flat side of the Bosu Ball and have to put one foot on at a time to avoid losing my balance. From here, I do anywhere from 25 – 50 squats.
- One Leg Toe Touch
- Start by standing on one leg, with your other leg straight out in front of you and your arms out to the side. Squat down on one leg to touch your opposite arm to the ankle of the foot on the floor (your opposite foot will need to go in front of your body – make sure it doesn’t sway to the side). I like to do 20 reps on each side.
While this probably seems like a list of random moves, every single one of them will leave me feeling sore! I love these types of moves because they target specific areas and really give you a direct benefit in very little time. Hips and hamstrings are so important in our running, but are one of the areas that I neglect the most! I am definitely feeling these moves today, which just lets me know that I really needed them 🙂
Happy hump day!