We have a test for you!

Well, it’s actually an exercise. A rather challenging one at that. But if you can successfully perform this exercise then you can rightfully brag to everyone that you have great control of your hips! 

It’s called the hip airplane. ✈️

What makes this exercise so challenging and good for you? It’s a dynamic movement that demands range of motion, strength, balance/control, and endurance – simultaneously in all planes of motion.  

Let’s break it down a bit…

Single leg balance: From the start, this movement requires the individual to be able to balance on one leg. Now, static balance is one thing, but the next steps make this a dynamic balance drill, which is more advanced than a stationary holding position.

Hinging at the hip: The next step is to allow your body to tip forward, while hinging on the hip – also referred to as an RDL. It’s important that you maintain a neutral spinal alignment – meaning you aren’t bending or twisting through your spine at all during the movement. When this is performed correctly, much effort is felt in the glutes!

Rotational stability & control: To top it off, this exercise then asks you to move through a controlled rotational motion while maintaining the solid single leg hip hinge position. The rotational stability in this position is extra challenging due to the balance demands. It’s not a natural movement that we do in our daily lives, unless maybe you’re a ballet dancer.

Watch the video that we recently posted to our instagram account to see Dave make this look easy.  Keep in mind that he has performed this exercise MANY times, so it didn’t always look this smooth.

If this is currently too difficult for you, but you’d like to work toward mastering it, we suggest starting off going through the movement with hand support on a stable surface. 

Another good starting point is to work on your hip hinging, and gradually working your way toward the single leg.  We also have a good demo video of the hip hinge using a dowel as a guide to maintain a neutral spine, here

Best of luck on your hip airplanes!

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