April 12, 2017
When you hear the words ‘abdominals’ and ‘core strength’ you may think of a six pack or muscles like the rectus abdominis and external obliques. Twisting one’s torso and performing leg raises are great ways to work these muscles, but when we perform these exercises we are also bringing our hips into action.
For a moment, let’s think of our hips as a hinge, similar to what you would see in a door frame. In a sit-up you begin by lying on your back with knees bent. Once your shoulders are off the ground, your hips start to take over. The hip muscles now begin to pull your torso toward your thighs, like a door opening and closing.
The tensor fascia latae (TFL), rectus femoris, and iliopsoas activate at distinct parts of the motion working in synergy, as they pull your torso closer to upright.
As we return to the starting position, we curl back trying to slowly bring our low back and mid back to the floor. We release the contraction of the hips, and finally allow the shoulders to come to the floor as well. Throughout almost the entire motion, the hips act as our hinge, placed between our thighs and torso. The hips cause movement or help stabilize in many other ab exercises as well, like leg raises, bicycle crunches, and oblique twists. For this reason, it’s important to strengthen and maintain proper flexibility in our hips for any well-balanced core training workout.
If you found this article helpful be sure to check out Aruna Evan and Kenny Faria’s Summer Ab Blast. Summer Ab Blast is a 6 week comprehensive core training program with:
weekly one-on-one assessments and group classes
access to an online video database
access to personal trainers
We’ll teach you everything you need to know when it comes to slimming, toning, or building your core. The program will also improve your stamina, prevent potential injuries, and enhance overall fitness.