Why the Hips Are the Key to a Toned Butt and Legs
The hips are the crossroads of the body. They are the connectors that hold everything together and are usually the route of any problem you may have in the upper body. They are the gateway to feeling good, staying strong, and sculpting your body. For anyone who wants to get into shape or is already in shape, the hips are my starting point.
All motion of the hips is controlled by the butt. In order to get strong, toned and lifted glutes, you have to open the hips! The glutes wrap around the hip joint capsule so they work in tandem. The motions of the hip are flexion, extension, internal rotation, external rotation, abduction, and adduction. Each one of those hip motions creates a certain reaction in the butt, and there are multiple motions happening at once, each one creating an entirely new reaction in the glute.
One might ask: Can I full activate my butt and perk it up if I’m only doing squats, lunges, and deadlifts? Those three exercises only create hip flexion, just one of the many different ways to work the butt. In P.volve, we work the glutes in hundreds of different ways by understanding the many hip motions. Without mobility in the hips, the butt never works, so it's important to be doing your exercises using hip motions that create mobility. More mobility in the hips equals more active glutes, which equals a lifted, round, strong, and healthy butt. Without taking care of your hips, you will never achieve this.
The hips have a massive influence on what is happening in the thighs, too. The thigh muscles connect to two joints: the knee and the hip joint. So many of us deal with bulked, rounded thighs that are overdeveloped and sore. That's the results of tight, locked-up hips from training with only flexion and the glutes becoming dormant. Plus, the quads take the brunt of all pressure throughout our everyday movements, resulting in swelling and inflammation in the legs.
So, how do our hips get so tight? Sitting all day, spending a lot of time in a car or on an airplane all contribute to tightness. The problem is we are stuck in flexion all day, so it may have made sense to do exercises that kept us in flexion (ie. squats and deadlifts). Instead, movements that create extension is key. Releasing the tension in your hips, creating mobility, and turning on the butt will virtually erase that inflammation in a matter of weeks. Once you correct quad dominance, in just a few weeks you'll see your legs slim down and your butt start to tighten and perk up, creating a more natural physique.
Our workouts begin with warmups that nurture, stretch and open up the hips. We often forget that we're working this area during the workout, but it's important to think of the hips as the focal point. When hip openness and mobility happens, everything else will follow.
Learn more about hip mobility in the video below: