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Make Your Hips Feel Amazing and Lift More Weight


Before performing assessments on any new athlete, I would probably be right on the money if I said that they lack mobility at the hips and their hip adducors are tight and weak.  This is common in most everyone, regardless of age.

We attack this typical movement dysfunction in an upcoming CPPS workout, but I wanted to show you two of the exercises we incorporated into the very comprehensive warm-up.

If you can get better alignment at the pelvis, improve the full range of motion of the legs in all directions, and get the appropriate muscle groups firing – you’ll be able to move better, get into better positions, and be able to perform strength training exercises with better form.

That is the key.

Because once we unlock our movement potential, we can begin to overload fundamental patterns to increase our muscle mass and get stronger.

Let’s take a quick glance at the upcoming warm-up for a future CPPS workout.

Cossack Squats

If you remember, a few years ago I started incorporating cossacks back into my programs.  What I found was that they simultaneously improved hip mobility AND strengthened the adductors through a full range of motion.  This creates better stability and movement integrity during lower body movements.

We typically perform cossacks for 10-15 reps and perform the bodyweight-only version during warm-ups.  As the athletes develop more strength and proficiency, I have found it best to overload them with a kettlebell (or dumbbell) held in a goblet position or with chains placed around the neck. (Cossacks with chains and Smitty with hair!)

Special Note:  If your athletes can’t perform cossacks properly because they’re too locked up, have them brace their arms on a flat bench or squat box to give them extra support to “ease” into the movement.


Inside Leg Lift (Adductor Activation)

Even though the adductors are tight, it doesn’t mean they are strong.  Strengthening the adductors – the muscles involved in moving the legs toward the midline of the body – is critical in gaining a better “knees out” position when squatting and deadlifting to gain more torque and tension.  The stronger and “longer” your adductors are, the better potential your knees will have to stay “out” as you descend into the squat or for creating torque in the hips before you pull a heavy deadlift.

This movement is again done for high reps, typically around 10-15 reps each set.


Use these two exercises with this 4 exercise circuit I created to help you squat deeper and you’ll probably have one of the best lower body workouts you’ve had in a while.

Let me know in the comments how you like this 1-2 combo for opening up your hips.


By on July 22nd, 2013


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Comment (1)

  1. Posted by - tony smith on July 22, 2013

    have arthrithis in my left hip I will need a hip replacement eventually, so My running days are over.

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