Low Back Prehab/Rehab: Hip Strengthening

Many people have low back pain or injuries and aren’t sure what they should be doing to help reduce their symptoms and prevent re injury.

This back prehab/rehab series will teach you some basic exercises that can be done any time in the day to help reduce pain and prevent future injury.

Our video today focuses on recruiting the gluteus medius (glute-med). This muscle is important for hip and knee stability during single leg weight bearing (walking, running, living your BEST life). Stable hips = stable low back + supported posture!

Step 1:

Isolated recruitment of the glute-med: Clamshells with or without band resistance. This exercise is a great way to start out, and actually feel the muscles we want to be using.

  • Side lying, flexion of hip and knee in 45°, holding feet together
  • Raise knees up and back + hip abduction and external rotation
  • Use theraband as resistance if you are able to perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions without resistance.
  • 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Step 2:

Weight bearing strengthening: Side-step with band resistance AKA Monster Walk. Once you are able to feel the glute-med in step one, you can strengthen the hips under more dynamic conditions.

  • Wrap resistance band around the thighs just above to the knee
  • Squat position, 45° bend at hip and knees
  • Take steps to the right and the left along a 10-m stretch, keeping knees stacked over ankles (don’t let knees pop in!)
  • Keep the core nice and strong
  • 10-15 steps each way, 3 times

Step 3:

Functional training using forward lunge. This final stage involves incorporating hip stabilizer recruitment during movements we use during strength training. If you can do it during a lunge, you can do it during pretty much any activity in your life.

  • Step forward
  • Keeping hips square, and knees tracking through middle of the foot sink into a lunge
  • Keep same alignment as you come out of the lunge
  • 3 sets of 6-15 repetitions per side

Let's get moving!


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Written by Saveah Reinhardt. Saveah is a strength coach at Vagus Fitness, specializing in corrective exercise for healthy bones and joints. Saveah is a kinesiologist, and plans on attending school to become a physiotherapist. She loves working with clients who are new to strength training, or are looking to use strength training as a tool to live a stronger, more mobile and energetic life! Contact Saveah at saveah@vagusfitness.com.

Kyle Mahadeo