Exercise Routines for the Hips

Exercise Routines for the Hips

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A treadmill workout helps tone the hips and reduce all-over fat.

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Whether you exercise at home or work out at the gym, you can choose a variety of exercises to tone your hips and increase flexibility. The muscles that surround the hips support the pelvis and help prevent knee and back strains. You can create strength or cardio workout routines that target the glutes, quadriceps and other muscles in the hip and thigh areas. Include strength training two or more times a week and a cardio workout three to five times a week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flex Those Hips: Forward Lunges

Lunges target the back of the hips, as well as the glutes on the sides and the quadriceps in front of the thighs. The forward lunge starts in a standing position with hands on your hips and with feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale as you step forward with your right leg; place the heel and then the front of your foot on the floor. Your right knee and right foot should face forward as you flex your right knee and hip to lower your body. Your left knee will almost touch the floor. Extend your right leg to push your body upward to a standing position. Repeat with the left leg in front, and do as many alternating repetitions as possible with proper technique.

Work Those Hips: Dumbbell Front Squat

Located in back of the hips and thighs, your gluteus maximus and hamstrings will get a good workout from a dumbbell front squat. Hold a dumbbell that is a comfortable weight in each hand with arms at your sides and palms inward. Keeping your elbows at your sides, contract your abdominal muscles and raise the dumbbells to your shoulders. With your weight on your heels, inhale and bend your knees as you move your hips slightly backward. Lower your body until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Exhale and push your feet into the floor to raise your body. You can also keep your arms at your sides during this exercise, without raising the dumbbells. Repeat until you cannot maintain good technique.

Move Those Hips: Cable Hip Abduction

The cable hip abduction targets the muscles on the sides of the hips, which include the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae. Facing sideways, stand in front of a low cable pulley, and fasten a cuff to the ankle that is farthest from the pulley. Hold the ballet bar and stand about an arm's length from the bar. Cross your farthest foot in front of the nearest foot, keeping your weight on the nearest foot. Move the front foot out to the side, away from the pulley, and then return. After you repeat as many times as you can while keeping proper form, repeat facing the other direction.

Trim Those Hips: Cardio Workout

Although you cannot spot-reduce fat on your hips or other specific parts of your body, high-intensity interval training -- HIIT -- promotes fat loss throughout the body. A hill-walking treadmill workout targets leg and hip muscles as it burns calories, notes Fitness magazine. Clip the treadmill safety tether to your waist before you start your workout. For the first five minutes, pedal using an easy to moderate incline and speed. For the next 15 minutes, alternate between two minutes of difficult incline and speed and one minute of easy to moderate incline and speed. Both the high-intensity and recovery intervals should gradually increase in difficulty. End the workout with a five-minute cool-down at an easy to moderate incline and speed.

Precautions and Considerations

Before you start a new exercise program, check with your doctor. If you feel lightheaded, nauseous or otherwise unwell during your workout, stop exercising immediately and talk to your doctor. Always begin your workout session with a five- to 10-minute warmup. Walking or light jogging, for example, gradually increases your muscle temperature and heart rate before you begin more intense exercise. Include five to 10 minutes of stretching to cool down after your workout.

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