The hips are an athlete's greatest asset. They provide power and stability, and they are key in acceleration. This is why Joel Jamieson, acclaimed strength and conditioning coach of 8 Weeks Out, has devised a series of sled-dragging exercises to strengthen this crucial body part from different angles.


For all of these exercises, place a strap around one ankle and attach the other end to the sled. Start out with fairly light loads, around 25 pounds, and build up as you progress.


  1. Forward Hip Flexion - Drive the knee up as explosively as possible and maintain good posture. Bring your hip as far forward as you can.
  2. Forward Hip Circle - Raise your knee to the side, then rotate it forward. Go through the full range of motion and increase the speed as you get warmed up.
  3. Backward Hip Circle - The motion is the same as in the forward hip circle, but you begin by raising your knee in front of you and rotating your hip externally rather than internally.
  4. Kickback - Keeping your leg straight, extend your foot behind you and raise it as high as possible. You will feel this in your glute as well as in your hip.


These drills have a lot of inherent variation. You naturally move forward or backward as you do these exercises. But you can experiment and move laterally, changing the direction. For an added challenge, do these exercises while in a push up position. In addition to strengthening your hips, this will improve your core stability and posture.


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