Completing the hip extension on the exercise ball is a great way to stretch and strengthen your lower back, hips and glutes. To complete this exercise, all you need is an exercise ball and a bit of floor space. Below are two separate ways to complete the hip extension exercise.
Picking the Correct Ball
To begin, make sure you have the right size exercise ball for your body. To get the best workout, you will want to sit on a ball with your feet out in front of you with knees bent. Your knees should be at a right angle. For women shorter than 4’8”, a recommended ball size is 45cm. For women between 4’8” to 5’3”, the ball should be 55cm. For women between 5’3” to 6”, the ball should be 65cm. For anyone taller than 6”, the ball should be 75cm.
The softer the ball, the easier it will be for you to balance. Therefore, an under inflated ball is good for beginners, while more advanced women should use a fully inflate ball.
Start by lying on top of the ball with your hands touching the floor in front of the ball and your toes touching the floor behind you. The ball should be resting under your bellybutton and pelvis.
Your arms should be aligned so that your shoulders, elbows and wrist are all stacked on top of one another. Palms should be flat on the ground with fingers point forward. Your legs should be stretched out straight behind you with feet placed hip width apart. Point your toes so your body weight is supported only on your toes. The alignment of your body at this point should look much like a push-up position.
Begin by pulling your abs in tight and contracting your glutes. You will lift your feet off the floor so they are straight behind you. Make sure to keep legs straight and do not bend your knees.
You will feel this step mainly in your lower back, but you may also feel it in your upper arms and core. Hold this for five seconds and then slowly lower your legs back to the ground and complete 10 repetitions.
Another form of the hip extension includes lying on the floor, facing up, with feet propped on the ball. Legs should be straight, with ankles, hips and inner thighs touching. The ball will be balanced under your calves, ankles and feet. Your arms will be out to your sides, with palms pressed down against the floor. You will use your arms for stability.
Contract your abs and glutes and slowly lift your hips up off the floor until your whole body forms a straight line from your toes to your shoulders. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then lower your hips back to the group. Repeat 10 times.
You will feel this exercise mainly in your hamstrings, quadriceps, core, hips and glutes.
To make this exercise easier: Place the ball under the knees instead of under the feet. To make this exercise more difficult: Instead of having your arms out to your sides, cross your arms over your chest. This will make it harder to balance and make your core work extra hard.