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Best Hip Circle Drills To Warmup The Hips And Get The Glutes Activated Before A Workout

The reality is...

Sometimes the class dynamic warmup isn't enough.

This is especially true if you're an athlete (like me) who has a tough time with tight hips, glute activation, and mobility.

If that's the case, spending a little time before class priming your trouble areas and getting them ready can really make a huge difference in your workout.

In this post, I want to share a few drills that you can incorporate quickly into your warmup routine that will help warmup the hips, re-enforce good movement patterns, and also aid in muscle activation.

For all of these drills we will be utilizing the hip circle.

Reign Fitness has them available on the warmup rack and they come in a few different sizes so make sure to check the tags.

And for all of these drills, the hip circle will be positioned in the same spot.

Right above the knees and just shy of halfway on the quads.

You may see some set and rep recommendations for each of these drills but keep in mind that you want to be utilizing the drills that help you the most. Allocate more time to the areas that need more attention.

I really like to stack all of these drills into one long circuit and then repeat for rounds after a little break.


Hip Circle Lateral Walks x 10 reps L/R

Hip Circle Lateral Seated Squat Walks x 10 reps L/R

Hip Circle Forward/Backward Monster Walks x 10 reps Forward/Backward

Hip Circle Squats x 10 reps

Hip Thrusts x 10 reps

Break 1 minute / Repeat 2-3 rounds

Ok, let's get to the drills.

Hip Circle Lateral Walks

*Check out the points of performance in the video.

Hip Circle lateral walks are definitely a regular in my warm-up routine and I really will utilize this particular drill to help my glutes get activated.

I like this particular hip circle movement because I can keep the legs locked out, it allows me to keep my glutes firing throughout the entire movement.

Hip Circle Lateral Seated Squat Walks

*Check out the points of performance in the video.

The Seated variation of the Lateral Walk is nice because It starts to get you closer into the squat position and it's great to feel the muscles firing in the position.

One thing you'll notice is that I'm not completely in a squat/seated position in the video and I always start at about this height on purpose. As I get more warmed up, I start to sit a little deeper in this drill. It can be a little difficult to just come in and get right down into a deep squat position so take your time and ease into it.

I'll do about 3 sets x 10 steps Left/Right or as a part of a circuit.

One thing to note is that it's really easy to forget about feet positioning with this drill. They need to be straighter to help the hips and knees stabilize better. Be cautious of feet turning too far out and externally rotating.

Hip Circle Forward/Backward Monster Walks

*Check out the points of performance in the video.

This is one of my favorites to really warmup the hips but it takes a little extra effort concentrating so go slow.

I'll perform this drill for 3 sets of 10 reps forward and backward or as a part of circuit.

I also like this one because when you do it right, you look like Frankenstein walking down the middle of the gym.

On the way forward, you'll notice a little more activation in the hips. On the way back, you'll definitely feel the glutes activate with each step. Take your time and don't be afraid to break.

Hip Circle Squats

*Check out the points of performance in the video.

Hip Circle Squats are in my routine everyday.

Not only do they help warmup the hips and activate the glutes, they are great at helping you learn how to drive the knees out and keep tension.

If you're having a tough time with your knees caving in or holding tension throughout the entire squat, grab a hip circle and get squatting.

Go slow enough so that you can maintain the same amount of tension on the hip circle and keep good squat mechanics. You should feel the most amount of tension at the bottom of your squat so take a mental note of what's happening.

"I will do anywhere from 10 to 25 reps in a set with these and will incorporate them throughout the entire warmup and workout."

Hip Circle Hip Thrusts

*Check out the points of performance in the video.

This is the drill I really spend a lot of time on when I know I'm going to be squatting or if I've just had a tough time activating my glutes during workouts. It can happen if I've been sitting for a long time before my workout or if I'm a little more cold and stiff.

I'm always coaching my clients on this movement because it's easy to just go through the motions and miss out on the good stuff so take your time. Pay attention to your setup and expect to make some adjustments after the first rep. Get to the point where you know that your shins are vertical and you can really feel the glutes working at the top of the movement.

It's very common to see some over arching of the lower back at the top of the movement but it can be caused by an improper foot position with the heels to close to the body. Be mindful of your positions.

Not ready for the bench? No Worries.

You can throw the Hip Circle on as a variation to a glute bridge.

Hope these drills can help you move better and more often!

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