These activation exercises are all about keeping muscles firing and working properly as you recover from injury, particularly the hip muscles. If you have to rest for a period of time then they can ‘go to sleep’ and lose strength, leading to a slower recovery, or poor performance later on.
Clam in flexion
The clam works the muscles on the outside of the hip.
- Lie on your side with your knees bent and slightly forwards so your hips are in flexion
- Raise your knee up in a slow, controlled movement and return to the start position
Clam in extension activation exercise
It is important to do these exercises on both sides.
- Lie on your side with your knees bent and your hips moved further back into the extension
- This targets the muscles on the outside of the hip in a slightly different way
- It is important to do these exercises on both sides
- If you begin to find this exercise easy then you can increase difficulty with a stronger band
Quarter squats against the wall
For this activation exercise stand next to a wall with a gym ball between you and the wall.
- Perform a quarter squat on one leg using the ball for support
- This targets the posterior chain and gets the muscles firing as they work to stabilize your hip
Single leg turnouts
- Balance on one leg with the other knee bent, foot resting on the inside of the supporting leg
- Whilst maintaining your balance turn the knee out and in to work your hip muscles whilst maintaining control and balance
VMO with hamstring push
- Contract your quadriceps muscles and hold, then use your hamstring muscles to push down, and hold
- Relax, then repeat
- Place a resistance band around your knees and walk sideways
- This activation exercise gets the hip muscles firing and fatiguing under bodyweight load
- This is progressed by making the movements more dynamic, performing this faster and on your toes
This exercise works the hip muscles under load in a slightly different way but moving forward.
- Place a resistance band around your knees to increase the load on your lateral hip muscles
Bridge activation exercise
This exercise works the gluteal muscles in particular, as well as brings your core into play.
- Place a band around your knees to increase the tension on the outside hip muscles as you perform the exercise
- Bridge exercises can be done on the floor, or with feet raised
- This is also made more difficult by doing single-leg bridges