Top 3 Lower Body Exercises

In this fourth and final installment about improving flexibility in your hips we are going to show the optimal way to perform some common exercises to get the most benefit for the health of your muscles and joints.

8 Key reminders:

  1. Always aim to maintain alignment of your rib cage over your hips
  2. Maintain your foot tripod
  3. Avoid cues like, pull your abs in or squeeze your glutes
  4. Pain is NOT ok
  5. Your flexibility should improve when you execute the exercises correctly
  6. To maintain the above you may find you do not move as deep or as far into and exercise or lift as much weight
  7. Be ok with less is more sometimes in the case of reps/sets and weight for the health of your joints and muscles. You can build back up, now with optimal form
  8. How you exercise, repetition after repetition will translate into your posture and how you move.


Last issue we shared the importance of being able to hinge at the hip joint.  Note in the model below how no matter the exercise the motion happens at the hip.  The cylinder represents maintaining the alignment of the rib cage over the hips.


  • Remain on your foot tripod throughout the exercise
  • Avoid lifting your chest or rib cage
  • Avoid lifting your chin


Split Squat

  • Start in a mini squat position
  • Slide one leg back slightly to start
  • Maintain 90% of your weight on the forward foot throughout the exercise
  • Keep your hips facing forward and even
  • Avoid shifting your weight onto your back foot
  • Your knees will go over your toes
  • When using proper form, you will feel your glutes working


Step out

  • Start in a mini squat position 
  • Slide one leg out slightly and return to the center (distance is less important than form)
  • Watch that you maintain your mini squat position
  • The stationary leg is the working leg
  • When performing correctly, you will feel the glutes on the stationary leg working


Once you master these, you can challenge these by adding weight, more repetitions, more dynamic movement, etc.

However, we recommend that you earn the right by mastering these by following the eight guidelines listed above before adding more challenges to the exercise.  

If you find that you are not having success with any of the above exercises try performing them with your hands on the wall.

Work and progress at your pace, not someone else's.

If you have any questions or need some assistance with what we have covered in any of our newsletters, be sure to reach out.



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