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Hip and Thigh Work

1. Back Squat

Starting Position:

·       Stand in front of the racked barbell and grasp it with a pronated grip

·       The hands should be wider than shoulder-width

·       Step under the bar and position the feet parallel to each other and facing forward

·       Place the bar on the back of the base of the neck so it rests on the upper trapezius

·       Lift the elbows to create a “shelf” for the bar using the upper back and shoulder muscles

·       Puff out the chest and focus the eyes forward

·       Unrack and lift the bar by extending the hips and knees

·       Step backward away from the rack (about 1.5 steps)

·       Position the feet slightly wider than shoulder-width with the toes slightly turned out

Downward Movement Phase:

·       Be sure that the back is set in a tight and flat position with the chest puffed out

·       The eyes should be focused out front and slightly upward

·       Begin the downward movement phase with an anterior pelvic tilt

·       Push the hips backwards and allow the hips and knees to slowly flex while keeping the torso-to-floor angle relatively consistent

·       Be sure to keep all bodyweight in the heels and the knees over the toes

·       Continue flexing the hips and knees until the hamstrings are parallel to the floor

Upward Movement Phase:

·       Maintain the tight core and flat back

·       Maintain the puffed-out chest and heels on the ground

·       Begin the upward movement phase by pushing the elbows forward and driving the head and shoulders straight upward

·       Extend the hips and knees at the same rate in order to keep the torso-to-floor angle constant

·       Push through the heels

·       Extension of the hips and knees will continue until the starting position is reached

·       At the end of the set, step forward and re-rack the bar by squatting and flexing the hips and knees (not by bending at the waist or lunging)

Major Muscles Involved:

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Semitendinosus

·       Biceps Femoris

·       Vastus Lateralis

·       Vastus Intermedius

·       Vastus Medialis

·       Rectus Femoris

2. Front Squat

Starting Position:

·       Step under the bar and position the feet parallel to each other

·       Place the hands on the bar in one of two arm positions

1. Parallel Arm Position

1. Grasp the bar with a pronated grip with the hands slightly wider than shoulder-width

2. Move under the bar by placing it on the anterior deltoids and clavicles

3. Fully flex the elbows and position the upper arms parallel to the floor

2. Crossed-Arm Position

1. Flex the elbows and cross the arms in front of the chest

2. Move up to the bar and place it on top of the anterior deltoids

3. Use an open grip with the hands on top of the bar and holding it in place

4. Lift the elbows and position the triceps parallel to the floor

·       Hold the chest up and out

·       Tilt the head slightly up

·       Extend the hips and knees to unrack the bar and take 2 steps backward

·       Position the feet slightly wider than shoulder-width with the toes pointed slightly out

·       All repetitions begin from this position

Downward Movement Phase:

·       Maintain a flat back, high elbows, and the chest up and out

·       Allow the hips and knees to slowly flex while keeping the torso-to floor angle relatively constant

·       Keep the heels on the floor and the knees aligned over the feet

·       Be sure not to flex the torso or round the back

·       Continue sinking the hips until the hamstrings are parallel to the floor

Upward Movement Phase:

·       Maintain a flat back, high elbows, and a puffed-out chest

·       Extend the hips and knees at the same rate in order to keep a consistent torso-to-floor angle

·       Keep the heels on the floor and supporting most of the weight

·       Be sure not to round the back or shift the weight forward onto the toes

·       Extend the hips and knees until the starting position is reached

·       Step back to the rack and replace the bar on the supports

Major Muscles Involved:

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Semitendinosus

·       Biceps Femoris

·       Vastus Lateralis

·       Vastus Intermedius

·       Vastus Medialis

·       Rectus Femoris

3. Barbell Forward Lunge

Starting Position:

·       Step Under the bar and grasp it with a pronated grip with the hands wider than shoulder-width

·       Place the bar on the upper trapezius at the base of the back of the neck

·       Puff out the chest and tilt the head slightly up

·       Lift the bar and step back out of the rack

·       Stand up straight with feet parallel and at shoulder width

·       All repetitions begin from this position

Forward Movement Phase:

·       Take a long step forward with one leg (this is the lead leg) while leaving the other foot in the starting position (trail leg)

·       The lead foot should be planted firmly on the floor out in front of the body with the toes pointing forward

·       Allow the trailing knee to flex slowly as it is lowered to the floor

·       Do not bounce the knee off the floor, rather gently touch it

·       At this point the lead knee should be positioned directly over the lead toe

·       Distribute the majority of the weight through the heal of the lead foot, and the remainder through the balls of the trailing foot

·       Be sure to maintain an upright posture with head and shoulders always facing forward and the chest puffed out

Backward Movement Phase:

·       Forcefully push backwards through the heal of the lead foot

·       Simultaneously extend the knee and hips and bring the body back to the starting position

·       Alternate legs until all repetitions are complete

·       Walk the weight back into the rack and return it to the supports

Major Muscles Involved:

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Semitendinosus

·       Biceps Femoris

·       Vastus Lateralis

·       Vastus Intermedius

·       Vastus Medialis

·       Rectus Femoris

·       Iliopsoas

4. Barbell Step-Up

Note: For this exercise it is recommended that the box used be tall enough to create a 90 degree angle at the knee joint when one foot is on the box.

Starting Position:

·       Grasp the bar with a pronated grip with the hands wider than shoulder-width

·       Position the bar on the back of the neck so it rests on the upper trapezius

·       Puff out the chest, tilt the head slightly up, and lift the bar out of the rack

·       Take a few steps backward so that the rack does not interfere with the exercise

·       Position the body in front of a box

·       All Repetitions begin from this position

Upward Movement Phase:

·       Step up with one leg (the lead leg) and place the entire lead foot on the box

·       The trailing leg should remain in the starting position

·       Shift the weight from the trailing leg to the lead leg and forcefully extend the knee and hip of the lead leg in order to step fully onto the box

·       Be sure not to push off or hop with the trailing leg while stepping up

·       Instead, force the lead leg to do the work and pull you up

·       Maintain an upright posture with eyes forward

·       Once on top of the box, stand up straight and pause to stop momentum

Downward Movement Phase:

·       Step backward off the box with the same trailing leg and place the trailing foot on the floor

·       Shift the weight from the lead leg to the trailing leg and step down with the lead leg

·       Assume the starting position

·       Alternate legs until all repetitions are complete

·       Replace the bar in the rack

Major Muscles Involved:

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Semitendinosus

·       Biceps Femoris

·       Vastus Lateralis

·       Vastus Intermedius

·       Vastus Medialis

·       Rectus Femoris

5. Barbell Good Morning

Starting Position:

·       Grasp the bar with a pronated grip and place it on the back of the neck as it rests on the upper trapezius

·       Hands should be wider than shoulder-width

·       The chest should be puffed out and the head tilted slightly up

·       The back should be held flat and the core should be tight

·       Tightly retract the scapulae throughout the exercise

·       The feet should be positioned slightly wider than shoulder width with the toes pointed out slightly

·       All repetitions begin from this position

Downward Movement Phase:

·       Begin by pushing the hips backward

·       Maintain a flat back and tightly retracted scapulae

·       Keep the knees slightly flexed throughout the movement

·       Keep the heels firmly on the floor

·       Continue the downward movement until the torso is near parallel with the floor

Upward Movement Phase:

·       Raise the bar by extending the hips

·       Keep the back flat and the knees slightly flexed during the ascent

·       Stand up straight and assume the starting position

Major Muscles Involved:

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Semitendinosus

·       Biceps Femoris

·       Erector Spinae

6. Barbell Dead Lift

Starting Position:

·       Stand with feet flat on the floor at slightly less than shoulder-width

·       Toes can be slightly pointed outward

·       Squat down with the hips as low as possible and chest up

·       Grasp the bar with an alternated grip with the hands slightly wider than shoulder-width

·       The arms should run outside of the knees with the elbows fully extended

·       Position the bar about 1 inch from the shins and over the ball of the feet

·       Body Position is key, and should be as follows:

·       Back- Flat or slightly arched

·       Trapezius- Relaxed or slightly stretched

·       Chest- Held up and out

·       Head- In line with vertebral column or slightly hyperextended

·       Heels- In contact with the floor

·       Shoulders- Over the bar

·       Eyes- Focuses straight ahead and slightly upward

·       All Repetitions begin from this position

Upward Movement Phase:

·       Lift the bar off the floor by extending the hips and knees

·       Do not let the hips rise before the shoulders

·       Maintain a flat back position

·       Keep the elbows fully extended and the shoulders over the bar

·       As the bar is lifted, keep it as close to the front of the legs as possible

·       Continue to extend the hips and knees until the body is fully erect

·       Downward Movement Phase:

·       Allow the hips and the knees to slowly flex to lower the bar to the floor

·       Be sure to maintain a flat back

·       Sink the hips as low as possible and keep the chest up and out

Major Muscles Involved:

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Semitendinosus

·       Biceps Femoris

·       Vastus Lateralis

·       Vastus Intermedius

·       Vastus Medialis

·       Rectus Femoris