Finding an exercise routine that helps you lose those pesky love-handles that you picked up over Christmas is no easy task. However, we’ve found the perfect workout for your hip abductors that will make your New Year’s resolution to get back into shape a lot easier.
If you’re anything like me, your lower back and your hips are one of the first places to start gaining weight when you’ve neglected your diet and haven’t been burning off all of those carbs. It’s just a really tricky spot on the body. Even if you have spartan-like abs, love handles will always give your torso that rounded look.
That’s why I was incredibly excited to come across Eric Wong’s YouTube channel, Precision Movement, where he instructs you on three exercises that will give you the complete hip abductor workout.
Wong starts the video by explaining the kind of movement that you want to achieve and explain the muscles that you’re targeting, which I find makes the process a lot easier. Being aware of the feeling that each exercise is supposed to be giving you can go a long way toward working out smart rather than working out hard and doing the exercises the wrong way. Wong’s instructional videos are very helpful in that sense.
First technique: The bretzel
This is a stretching technique that addresses a lot of the elements necessary for an effective hip abductor workout.
Lying down on your side, put your bottom leg back, flexing the knee and locking it in with your opposite hand. Then place your bottom leg, bent 90 degrees at the knee, and pull it up to a position that’s perpendicular to your torso. Push your knee down with your opposite hand and align your torso with your back on the ground and your shoulders tucked back. Push to rotate your knees and lay back. You should feel your muscles stretching. Hold that position for 20 seconds, take deep breaths, make sure your spine remains elongated and switch to the opposite side. Repeat the process for your static stretch.
Second technique: One-leg side bridge
To help build strength in your hip abductor, the one-leg side bridge workout. Prop yourself up on one arm, bent at the elbow. Make a straight line from your armpit to your feet and in a triangular position lift your opposite leg to the side. Hold this position with your core flexed and repeat on the opposite side. You can also do this exercise with a straight arm supporting your body for a bigger challenge. Do as many reps as you can holding the position for 5-20 seconds.
Third technique: Lateral cross-under lunge
To start, align your feet a shoulder width apart, with a straight back, activating your core. Step to the side with one leg in the direction of your standing leg, around the back and reach as far to the side as possible, while lowering yourself on your standing leg. Bring it back and repeat on the other side. Make sure to press down hard into the ground with your standing foot and be controlled when stretch your other leg around the back. Do three to six reps per side.
The great thing about this hip abductor workout is that it’s very low impact and has a very small chance of leading to injury. And the more you get used to the workout, the better balanced you are. Better yet, you’ll find that those pesky love handles will disappear over time and you’ll finally be able to find that perfect shape before summer comes to an end.