Why are hip extensors important?

Hip extension uses some of the largest and strongest muscles. This movement is used in many daily activities, such as getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, and walking. He is also heavily involved in many sports with explosive strength and power. Therefore, it is important to train the hip extensors.

However, people spend a lot of time sitting for longer periods of time and are less active. This causes the hip extensor muscles to weaken over time.

hip extensor muscles

Hip extension depends on three main muscles:

  • Buttocks. The main involved muscle of the hip extensors is the gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle of the glutes. The gluteus medius also helps with hip extension, although to a lesser extent.
  • hamstrings The three hamstring muscles (biceps femoris longus, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus) help support the glutes with hip extension.
  • adductor magnus (posterior head). Located on the inner thighs, the posterior head of the adductor magnus also supports hip extension.

Together, these muscles help stabilize the pelvis and propel the body during movements such as walking, running, jumping, and standing.


Hip extension occurs when we extend or open the hip joint so that the angle between the pelvis and thigh increases. It can mean moving the leg behind us when standing or using the hip extensor muscles to drive the body forward over the leg as it begins to flex in front of us.

It is involved in many daily movements, such as walking, getting up from a chair, and climbing stairs . He also participates in many sports activities, such as running, jumping or kicking. For example, the hip is extended when we bring the leg back before kicking a soccer ball.

Conversely, hip flexion is when the angle between the pelvis and thigh is reduced. For example, squatting, sitting at a desk, or the forward motion of kicking a soccer ball.

personas con extensores de cadera

Importance of training

Hip extension exercises are important for strengthening the hip extensor muscles . Strengthening these muscles helps ensure that they are doing their job properly and don’t have to rely on surrounding muscles (such as the lower back muscles) for help, which can lead to pain and injury.

Additionally, the hip extensor muscles work together with the hip flexors to stabilize the pelvis . However, when the hip extensors and abdominal muscles are weak or the hip flexors (iliacus, psoas major, and rectus femoris) are tight, the pelvis can tilt forward and downward. This creates excessive pressure on the lower back and increases stress on the hamstrings. This is known as an anterior pelvic tilt.

Unfortunately, prolonged sitting and being sedentary can result in tighter hip flexors and weaker hip extensors.

Additionally, having strong hip extensors can improve athletic performance and give us a competitive advantage, especially in sports and activities that rely on hip extension for running, jumping, forward thrusting, or other explosive movements.

Hip extensor exercises

The hip extensors can be easily strengthened with the right exercises. Introducing some of these into lower body routines is recommended.

glute bridge

Glute bridges are a great exercise for beginners who use hip extension as their primary movement. No material is needed, although we can choose to use a mini band or dumbbells.

  1. We will start lying on our back with our knees bent and our arms at our sides. Feet should be hip-width apart.
  2. If we’re using a dumbbell, we’ll hold it above the hip crease.
  3. We will press the heels, squeeze the abdomen and push the pelvis up by squeezing your buttocks. We will lift high enough so that the body forms a straight line from the knee to the shoulder.
  4. We will maintain the position for 2 seconds and lower the hips to the ground.

hip thrust

Hip thrusts are one of the most popular hip extension exercises. That said, it’s important to make them carefully. We may want to use a dumbbell or try glute bridges before doing hip thrusts. All you need is a bench and barbell with weight pad.

  1. We’ll start on the floor with the shoulder blades resting against a secured bench (either placed against a wall or secured to the floor).
  2. Sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out, we will place a bar on the crease of the hips and place our hands around the bar. Alternatively, we can hold a dumbbell.
  3. Next, we will bend our knees and separate our feet at the height of the hips.
  4. Once in position, push your heels into the ground, tighten your core, and push your pelvis up by squeezing your glutes. At the top of the movement, your shins should be vertical, your torso parallel to the ground, and your knees at 90 degrees.
  5. We will avoid pushing with the lower back and we will keep the chest in the same position throughout the movement.
  6. Then we’ll gently lower

Go upstairs

We all practice hip extension every time we walk up the stairs. Likewise, box climbs focus on hip extension as you go up. We just need a box or an insured bank.

  1. We will raise the right foot on top of the box/bench. The hips, knees, and ankles should all be at 90-degree angles. This is the initial position.
  2. Then, we will push the foot towards the box/bench and squeeze the glutes to raise the body. Instead of putting the left foot on the box/bench, we will keep it in the air.
  3. Then, we will lower the body down.

vertical hip thrusts

If traditional hip thrusts aren’t your thing, or you don’t have access to a barbell, vertical hip thrusts can be a great alternative. We will need a yoga mat (to protect the knees) and resistance band (optional).

  1. We will kneel on the floor with the knees separated at the height of the hips. Your shins should be flat on the ground and your back straight.
  2. With your hands on your hips, push your hips back until your butt touches your calves.
  3. Then, we will squeeze the glutes to push the hips forward and back to the starting position.

hamstring curl on fitball

We’ll need a stability ball to try this exercise for hip extensors. If we haven’t tried this move before, we’ll start by focusing on the extension part of the hip. We can add the leg curl later. We just need a stability ball (fitball).

  1. We will lie on our back with the calves and feet on a stability ball. The knees will be straight. We will place our hands at the sides with the palms facing down.
  2. Using the glutes and hamstrings, we will lift the lower part off the ground so that the body forms a straight line from the upper back to the feet. This is the initial position.
  3. From this hip extension position, we’ll pull the stability ball toward the butt, performing a hamstring curl.
  4. We will slowly stretch our legs to return to a straight line. We will keep the body off the ground and start another curl.