Your hips don’t lie. If they’re weak, they’re weak and it’ll show in your next squat attempt. Check out these drills to help build strong hips.
To perform, start on the floor with your lower back touching. You want very little space before you begin, and you want to maintain it throughout the movement. So your pelvis is going to stay neutral to help keep your spine neutral. As you descend the hip thrust, you’re going to land in a uniform motion. Do it right, you will feel it in your gluteus medius the entire time. Lose that sensation and you need to fix your form.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Start with your foot on a bench and your other foot on the ground. Keep the neutral spine as mentioned above. You’ll feel the stretch in your non-working leg as you descend and stand back up focusing on squeezing your glute.
One Legged Deadlift
Same as the Bulgarian split squat, except we aren’t bending the knee as much. This makes it a much better hip dominant unilateral movement. Same rules apply. Keep the spine neutral, and if need be, shorten the range of motion to keep that stability.
This drill, as you can see, is pretty simple. But it is effective. The best way to perform it is to think of your leg as going up and back in a diagonal motion. With that, you will feel it in your glute medius and glute maximus. Doing it this way also reinforces keeping your spine and pelvis stable like I mentioned before.
More common in the yoga circles, this is a great drill to help you open up your hips, and as a result, help your squat depth as well as your overall mobility. Most of the time you will see this performed as a static stretch. Since my mobility isn’t the best, I like to perform it in reps by moving in and out of it as in the video. Do it right, you’ll feel it in your groin as it stretches out your rotators.
Squat Position Work
For this, we’re in a squat position. In the video, I am pushing out my knees to stretch the hips. Note that my hands are touching in a prayer type position. To further the stretch, make one hand into a fist and keep the other flat. To go beyond that, put both hands into a fist and fist bump yourself as you push your knees out. This last variant is tough, so take it slow. Also, I am working on my internal rotation. You’ll note that in the video my right hip isn’t as good as my left hip when it comes to that. If you find yourself in a similar spot, work the hypo mobile side more.