Why Rotational Hip And Core Exercises Matter

Are You Locked Into One Range of Motion?

Take a look at your current workout plan and ask if it takes advantage of all 360-degrees when you move. 

Or do you typically move on the sagital (linear) plane with some variation of squat, hip hinge, forward lunge, or bridge?

If you've experienced nagging hip and low back pain, or feel your SI joint is out of whack, try adding rotational movement in the mix. 

 

Rotational Hip and Core Strength Importance

Think about when you throw a baseball or softball. What happens with your trunk?

Hopefully it rotates. If you've ever tried throwing a ball without trunk rotation, you'll notice it doesn't go far. 

Same thing goes for batting, hitting a golf ball, throwing a frisbee, swinging an ax. 

A lot of what we do in our day, be it sports, or otherwise requires our hips and trunk to move in different ways. 

Controlled rotational exercises are a great way to not only improve trunk and hip strength from these...

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3 Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises To Add To Your Routine

Are Hip Flexors Your Weakest Link?


Do you think they have tight hip flexors from sitting for prolonged periods at a desk?

Let's exam what the hip flexors do so you can consider whether your hip flexors are tight, or just weak. Even if your hip flexors are tight, static stretching may not be the best alternative- especially if they are also weak.

The hip flexors are comprised of a group of muscles originating in the lumbar region of the back and hip girdle, which run down the femur. The pull the upper leg and trunk together.

The role of the hip flexors is to stabilize the pelvis and improve your gait. They serve as the connection that keeps the hips and low back together, which can help prevent excessive lumbar extension or flexion, and anterior or posterior pelvic tilt.

Since the primary job of this muscle group is to pull two bones toward a joint, when you are seated all day, the chair does their job.

When these muscles don't work the way they should, you may compensate with...

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Gym Hack: Alternative to 45-Degree Back Extension

No Equipment, No Problem

One of my favorite things to do is find gym hacks for exercises that normal require uncommon equipment. 

Not every gym has a 45-degree back extension, Roman chair, or glute-ham developer. 

But most gyms have a smith machine or squat rack.

With this simple set up, you can hack your gym and get in a good set of back extensions without needing the apparatus.

All you need is:

  • Smith machine or squat rack
  • Bar pad (not necessary, but recommended)

You may want to put a squat wedge or plates behind the feet if you worry you will slip. I've never slipped, but it's possible.

This video shows plates loaded and single-leg back extensions using this set up, but you can do any variation and it works the same.

 

Next time your in the gym, give it a go. It's not perfect, but it works just as well as the standard version.

 

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5 Shoulder-Saving Moves To Add To Your Warm-Up

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Protect Your Shoulder Health

These shoulder warm-up drills are a great way to prime your body for a workout, and also improve shoulder health.

It's not uncommon to have aches, pains, and loss of mobility in the shoulders as you age. 

If you're new to these moves, ease into them. Pay attention to what your body says and don't push into any position that feels uncomfortable.

I recommend choosing 2-3 for each upper body workout.

 

Prone Incline Drills

shoulder drills from Kellie Davis on Vimeo.

 

The prone incline Y and prone incline scarecrow are two great drills to work on overhead mobility and stability.

Prone Incline Y Drill: 

  1. Position the bench in an incline and lie face down with feet supporting on the floor.
  2. Extend the arms toward the floor with elbows straight and palms facing in.
  3. Roll the shoulders down and back away from the ears.
  4. Keeping the arms straight, raise them overhead.
  5. Return to starting position.
  6. Repeat for 5-10 reps.

Prone Incline Scarecrow:

...
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Glute Workout: Double Results With These 4 Moves

A Glute Workout Sure To Pump You Up

Frequent glute workouts are one of the best ways to improve the strength, shape, and balance of your backside.

Trouble arises if you don’t let your muscles rest and recover between sessions. I’ve found the best method for building bigger glutes is upping the volume while lowering the weight you use.

This isn’t to say you should never use heavy weights when working your posterior chain. But short, frequent bodyweight and bands glute sessions are a great way to not only grow rounder and stronger but also help you recover better.

These 4 glute-building moves are staples in my training, plus the workouts of my clients and workout program members.

I’ve also included a quick butt workout at the end that you can do 2-3 times a week on its own or at the end of your workout.

Double-Band Glute Bridge

  1. Place a medium weight loop band around both feet. Wrap the band around the hips. Place a heavy weight min band above the knees.
  2. ...
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Fire Up Your Core Workout: 3 Advances For Your Dead Bug Exercise

Dead Bugs Belong In Your Workouts

The cat’s out of the bag and roaming the streets, telling everyone how much I love dead bugs. These anti-rotation, anti-extension core exercises have endless variations that you can program into your workouts week after week.

Frankly, when I started dead bugs, I didn’t love them. Like many fitness enthusiasts, I was doing them wrong.

The key is to time your breath accordingly, and get your core cooperating, so you don’t end up going all arch-deluxe when you move your limbs away from your center.

It’s no small feat to dead bug like a pro, and here are a few of my fav upgrades you can add to your workout routine.

 

Band iso-hold dead bug

  • Fix a band securely overhead behind you.
  • Scoot out away from the apparatus, so you get some good tension on the band.
  • Lock the scapula in place.
  • Press your back into the floor, so your entire torso is flush with the mat or surface.
  • Hold the band stead and move one leg out into extension....
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2 Glute-Building Moves To Reduce Low Back Pain

A Better Way To Bridge?

Have you tried the 90-90 hip lift, popularized by PRI or Postural Restorative Institute and back health expert Dr. Stu McGill?

These hip lifts are a great way to work on trunk and pelvic positioning, which is especially helpful for those stuck in lumbar extension and present anterior pelvic tilt and rib flare. 

The limit range of motion with the 90-90 hip lift helps to focus on moving out of extension and into lumbar flexion while posteriorly tilting the pelvis. Learning to move well on a sagittal plane helps you move better on all planes. 

By doing this you align the pelvic and thoracic diaphragms, helping to improve breathing patterns, while putting the trunk in better positioning. 

Below are the double leg 90-90 hip lift and single leg version. I actually prefer to program these in my Get Strong and Epic Ass workout series over feet-elevated bridges as it helps to avoid compressing the paraspinals, which is a common issue in certain...

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7 Killer Moves To Build Your Butt With A Box and A Band

Building a better butt isn't rocket science. In fact, you don't need a ton of space or equipment to get in a good glutes workout. 

In this series, learn my favorite booty-building moves using a box or bench and your favorite mini band. 

Hip Extension Exercises

These hip extension exercises are also known as reverse hypers. The key is to adjust your position on the bench so the end of it sits right where your hips bend. Otherwise it might feel uncomfortable.

These exercises help build the glutes for better pelvic alignment and low back support, and the hamstrings to improve running, jumping, and reduce risk of injury in endurance sports. 

Band Straight-Leg Hip Extension

Band Single-Leg Hip Extension

Band Alternating Hip March

Band Isohold Hip Extension With Knee Drive

Hip Abduction Exercises

Abduction exercises move the legs away from the midline of the body, help rotate the femur inside the hip, and stabilize hip joint. Though the glute maximus and...

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Regret Is a Fair Teacher

Friday my dear friend Lisa blessed me with an hour-long phone conversation. She’s one of those friends that everyone needs in their life.

The friend who isn’t afraid of tough love. The one who outwardly calls you on your stuff and doesn’t back down until you promise her you will start thinking differently. But also isn’t afraid to share her stuff, too, so you don’t feel alone.

We got on the topic of shame, and I told her I don’t understand why I feel the way I do right now because I’ve worked hard over the past few years to let go of my shame. As a pretense, I was having a woe-is-me moment thinking about how my 40th birthday is around the corner, and my life doesn’t look like I’d imagined it to be at age 40.

I began ticking off one-by-one all the shame I felt about my past and how I’d let it go.

She said, “Kellie, you think that shame fits into neat little boxes. This shame fits in this box, and I will put this shame...

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4 Progressions to a Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

 

Unilateral work is an essential component of your strength program. Single-leg deadlifts are a great way to train balance, equilibrium, and proprioception.

If you feel wobbly when you attempt a standard SLRDL, then try these progressions.

Split stance RDL: I love this as an accessory move on lower body days. Stand with feet staggered and the DB or KB in a contralateral load. Loading this way helps the glute medius kick in.

Sliding RDL: The next progression is to use a slider, allowing the back leg to track behind the body while remaining on the floor.

Braced SLRDL: Next up is the braced version. The key to bracing is to help maintain balance without relying solely on the apparatus for support. If you feel you need a ton of support, then go back to split stance.

SLRDL: You can do contralateral load, double KB/DB, barbell, or any other variety. Variety is the goal. The more ways you load, the more components you work on to help improve strength, athleticism, balance, and awareness.

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