When activating the lower body, injury prevention, and hip strength is on the docket, there’s no better way to get the job done than strapping on a hip circle.
We might talk a lot about this handy device here at Gunsmith Fitness, but that’s for good reason…
Hip circles work!
Seriously, there are few gym accessories that offer such bang for your buck with regards to injury prevention and lower body muscle recruitment. Well, there’s none. Nothing on the market competes with the hip circle for those looking to stay healthy whilst toning up.
No hype. Just big facts, fellas. For ladies and gentlemen looking to improve mobility and lower body strength without worry of injury, let’s dig. Class is in session.
Welcome to hip circles 101 for fun, mobility, movement, and big glute gains.
What is a Hip Circle?
First and foremost, let’s break down what a hip circle is and why we use them here at Gunsmith Fitness.
Essentially, a hip circle is a thick resistance band that wraps around your thighs just above the knee. The band is designed to add pressure or resistance to certain muscles in the legs while the athlete performs different lower body movements.
Athletes can either use the hip circle as a device to help warm up and activate the lower body before moving heavy weights in their core movements. Or they use these bands to train the hip flexors directly, which can eliminate weaknesses and provide big glute gains down the road.
The benefits of hip circle training are vast, but the goals remain similar. Keep the lower body as healthy and mobile as possible - while training hard and heavy.
How to Use Your Hip Circle
Now, you can use a hip circle in a dozen different ways and we’ve talked about some of the best hip circle exercises before.
However, the quick and dirty guide on using hip circles to see solid glute gains and insane hip mobility goes like this:
- Step into the hip circle and pull it up to above your knees. Adjust the band until it’s placed about 2-3 cm above your knees on the thigh.
- Spread the knees apart just a bit until there’s some tension built on the outside of your legs. This should be moderate but noticeable.
- Now, the hip circle is on and you can begin using the device for training purposes. To begin, simply walk forward with the device on. Feel how the resistance activates different muscles and areas throughout the lower body.
- Do a few sets of 10-12 steps forward and then backward. We’re just going over the basics of how a hip circle feels.
- Once you’re comfortable walking in the hip circle, do a set of 10 air squats. Go slow and feel the extra tension on the outside of the leg and in the hip flexor.
Nothing too complex here. Just how to put the hip circle on and start a quick warm up.
Are Hip Circles Just For Women?
We weren’t going to include this in our quick guide on hip circles 101, but a few guys have asked us about who should use a hip circle. Let’s make it crystal clear…
Hip circles are for men and women.
Unless you’re a guy who enjoys lower body injuries, weak hip flexors, and a lack of leg mobility - you’ll find vast benefits throwing hip circles into your lower body warm up and activation routines.
While many a broski has thoughts hip circles are strictly for fit chicks seeking booty gains and tight toning, there’s a little bit more to them than that.
Hip circles are one of the easiest ways to minimize lower body injuries - while increasing mobility and flexibility. As such, any and every athlete can utilize these resistance bands. No matter their gender.
Benefits of Hip Circles
For such a simple device, the benefits of hip circles can be vast. Many athletes now use these resistance bands during every single lower body workout. Why? Because they work.
With just 5-15 minutes of hip circle work each lower body training session, you’ll find benefits like:
- Injury Prevention: One of the main reasons we recommend hip flexors is for injury prevention. You can minimize your chance of injury when moving heavy weights by properly warming up with a hip circle. The device activates lower body muscles than almost anything else, which ensures you recruit the right muscles with each movement. Train hard, but train smarter. That’s what the hip circle helps you do.
- Increase Hip Mobility: Lower body mobility, especially in the hips, goes through the roof when properly warming up and training with the hip circle. After a month or so of using this device, you will feel the mobility and increased flexibility when you get into a deep squat.
- Improved Hip Flexor Strength: If you’re like many trained athletes, your hip flexors aren’t one of your strong points. As such, they typically get recruited last when moving heavy weights with the legs. This leads to weakness. Hip circles offer direct hip flexor training and strengthening with just a few exercises each session.
- Strength Gains through Activation: When properly recruiting and activating the hip flexors, your big lower body lifts should skyrocket. You will see strength gains by improving your hip flexor strength and mobility.
...And that’s just the iceberg. Hip circles work. And for anyone seeking to become swole, we believe they’ll help you do just that and more.
3 Quick Hip Circle Exercises
So, enough with the fluff, mate. Let’s dive in a little deeper and talk about a few quick hip circle exercises that could help you in your quest to the biggest and best. Or the tightest and toned. Whatever your lower body lifting goals, give these hip circle exercises a try:
- Air Squats: There’s no doubt you feel impressive activation and recruitment on the outside of the legs and in the hip flexor when hitting some simple air squats using this training tool. Try three sets of 10 air squats with the hip circle before getting under the bar for the real deal. Once completed, we’ve found the added engagement from the hip flexors ensures a few more reps and a little extra weight.
- Slow Defensive Slides: One of the best ways to engage the hip flexors and increase mobility is through defensive slides. If you’ve ever played basketball, you’ll know what I mean. If not, get down in an athletic stance and take a lunge/step to the side - but be smooth about it. We want slow and controlled movements. Take five slides left and then five right. A couple of slow sets makes for a solid warm-up exercise.
- Hip Circle Farmer Walks: Talk about tough! Grab a plate in each hand and keep the hip circle on. Walk around until your hip flexors give out or your grip strength goes. A couple sets of this is a great way to finish an upper body or lower body training session. We often do these right after heavy deadlifts.
Hip Circles 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Unique Training Device
Almost everything you’d need to know about the almighty hip circle is above. Ok, the device might not be almighty, but there’s no denying the benefits strengthening the hip flexors and increasing mobility can offer athletes.
We may be biased, but here at Gunsmith Fitness - we believe in the benefits of hip circles for trained athletes.