Best Exercises For Hip Power And Speed

Aaron King (00:00):

Welcome back to the modern old school training podcast. I'm Aaron King with coach Bob King. And today we've got an interesting topic. We are going to talk about the kind of hip thrust power, some of the different exercises, a hip extension, and how it pertains to both speed, power performance, but also just what the study says about these, these different exercises. So without me, just fudging it up a little bit. I'm going to kind of let you jump into what caught your eye, what the study was, and kind of what we're going to talk about.


Coach Bob King (00:27):

You mentioned. So I'm just thinking what caught my eye and that's, that's where with everything that goes on in this world of training at some point there'll be a group somewhere else, say, let's go figure out who's right. And talk because, you know, there's always a camp that like, well, you know, the glute thrust is probably the best or know the full squat as to the grass kind of thing is the best. And so we got this competition about the best for whatever. So we don't have a whole lot of differences to talk about right now because it comes back to this specificity of training. If I do leg extensions and you do the hip thrust and we compare, who's got the best glute strength, you'll probably win because you did the specificity of training for the glutes.


Coach Bob King (01:13):

And I did leg extensions. So you have to be really careful about the best whatever. And so what do you want to do with it? What does that for some people is strictly cosmetic? I want to look good in jeans. Some people are really athletic and want to be fast. So somewhere, somebody always comes up, says, well, let's go in the lab and have a real-life research on this and get subjects and, and all the parameters for that training. And so I like looking through the journals and finding these guys overseas a lot in this research came out of Australia because they're always, I think real fascinating. I mean, there's plenty of European and North American research, but this one came out of Australia about the comparison between back squat, Romanian, deadlift, barbell, hip thrusts for leg and hip muscle activities during extension.


Coach Bob King (02:01):

That's a mouthful, but what does the lower extremity do as a result of these training methods? Well, they're all different. I mean, everybody, you know, familiar with the back squat, put a bar on your back and have a seat, Romanian, deadlift knees bent, you're bending over and keeping the knee in a flex position. The hip thrust is a lot of different ways to do that, in which you're basically upright with your torso feet on the ground, but on the ground. And you lift your hip up and extend from there. And then let's see which one works the best they go through. And they do the research and every exercise had at least one area that it was better than the other exercise in, but no, no, excuse me. No single exercise was better across the board. Some, you know, clearly I think clearly if you do a Romanian deadlift and the knee is bent and fixed, that means the back squat is going to have superior quad strength, extension development. And so you just can, you can pick what you want to find, and that will be your, see, I told you so


Aaron King (03:04):

As you're, as you're saying, I'm just kind of like, why not do them? Do all of them,


Coach Bob King (03:10):

Here we go. And so that comes back to the program design point, right? And so I think if you do too much of anything, you hit a diminishing return. And so at some point, you squat so much, he's going to your low back your shoulders. Maybe your knees, something may just start feeling it. And that's not me expressing the opinion. That's just what we run into in the weight room coach. My back has really been, what have you been doing? Well, I thought I'd just squat, like money. Was he Friday and see how strong I can get. Well, you got strong until it started breaking down. And so what you said is the answer is like, well, what should I do? Let's look at your program. Let's do a back squat. Let's do a front squat. Let's do an RDL, the Romanian deadlift, and let's do a hip thrust, and let's spread it out.


Coach Bob King (03:59):

Why? Because each one has its positives and its features and its its its betterness. And that's a good word betterness. But what I want to do is go ahead and work through the whole chain and see if, if we can eliminate the weak spot in your chain, then what you want to do should get better. And in terms of athletes that I like to deal with, of course, you want to be faster. Then, the hip thrusts showed no improvement in speed and when they checked the numbers well, but it is a good hip stabilizer. So if you're going to back squat, you want that your back squat is going to help your sprint. Your hip throw is going to help your squat. So let's, let's, don't get into mine's better than yours because true in what you're looking for. What do you want to know about this or that? If it's a, you're looking for, you're probably better if it's B you're not, but he's better with B. And so let's just


Aaron King (04:54):

Bloomberg. Yeah. I joke in oversimplify, but it is, it is, it is good to know though where the the benefits are, where the, you can offset things if you're finding a deficiency in your training. And I think that's probably the key there.


Coach Bob King (05:06):

Well, and there again, another great point is you're only as strong as your weakest link. And so why can't I, how do I make my squat better? Hmm. Well, let's look at your technique. I can see you there. It looks like you're just having a problem at this point because it's all degrees. I mean, you know, the knee flexes and bends and certain degrees. And so if there's a weak spot in any set of degrees, we need to strengthen that. Well, let's go get more. Let's get the hit through us. Probably need a little more RDL because that's going to help this or that your hamstring balance and so forth. So they all have a place and it's great that these guys are innovative and come up with stuff. But if you let's say, if you center your program around this exercise, you may be in trouble because there's just more to the body than that to the movements of the body are phenomenal. I mean, you just go in so many different directions, just watch, you know, the high-level sports of basketball and football and see how those men and women can move. It's just amazing what the body can come up with. Well, that makes it really tricky, strengthening those individual muscles. So we need to strengthen the whole


Aaron King (06:12):

First. So how did they isolate this? Like how do you find out if a hip thrust is helping with you, like how did they really isolate this, this experiment


Coach Bob King (06:21):

At the higher level of research, they can do electromyographic and so they can attach electrodes to the muscles and record the firing activity. So for example, if I put an electrode on my quad and on my bicep, you'll find there's a whole lot of activity when I do a curl and nothing on the, on the clod. So, you know, that's, that's an extreme, but that's what goes on. And so they can, they can look at the data coming off the chart or off the graph and say, well, there's more activity in this muscle during this activity and not so much in that. So it's not, it's just time-consuming and labor-intensive to attach electrodes and record everything, but it does allow you to see what's going on.


Aaron King (07:04):

So if I'm a parent or a coach, I'm not going to go with like the strength conditioning professional, if I'm someone that wants to improve my athletes, my kid, whatever, where's the prescription or the tape, this is highly technical and very specific, but is there an application or prescription? Yeah,


Coach Bob King (07:23):

That's another great question. And the answer to that is yes because almost I'm going to be kind of limited here. Most of these exercises have no weight applications. And so, you know, world-famous body squats, a body squats can be done several different ways to teach the movement. And that's the starting point, teach how to train. And so the body squats can be done effectively to teach that movement. And then you can go to a more strengthening aspect of it. Wall sits, or the world-famous, you know, pre-ski training where you just go sit against the wall, hope for the best. And you can do that in degrees. You can go up high and then medium and then low. And so the wall squats are very effective as far as that movement. And then the only one it's probably not as effective with no weight as the RDL, you know?


Coach Bob King (08:16):

And so it can be taught as far as the movement and activating the muscles involved in that movement, the hip thrust the good thing about it, it works well with no weight because you can go on the floor or even on the beach with your shoulders on the bench, your back and do single legs. And so by shifting the single leg, you now have weight to work with because you don't have both legs to help you. So there are lots of the let's call it the home versions that you can use. And so there's not an all or none principle at all. And, and many of these exercises are, you know, it goes across the board, you don't have a bench press, there's a pushup.


Aaron King (08:49):

Okay. And then talking about speed development here, we talked, you got a little bit of like the actual strength, but then the transition or translation into and speed training. And so,


Coach Bob King (08:59):

Well, the, you know, in that regard, the hip thrust didn't show any, any improvement. It didn't show a big asset to speed training. By far the squats we've done this in previous discussions by far, the squads have shown to be the speed exercise and the way I interpret all the research and literature is that the speed benefit coming from squats out outweighs everybody. And just to give the complete story, we also found that it was good to a point. Everything has a cap and squatting was real good for speed development up to a point to were zero to 10. It didn't have any benefit to be squatting more.


Aaron King (09:38):

So if, if the hip thrust helped your squat, as you said earlier, and it helps your speed, then, in turn, CROs can actually help your speed. Yeah.


Coach Bob King (09:46):

I, you know, I don't care to get into these discussions when, if I'm in the weight room, somebody says, well, you know, this is really better for what, you know, here we go. I have to do an individual one-on-one podcast to say, okay, it's good for value


Aaron King (10:01):

Correlation and causation, if I'm hungry and I have some peanut butter and I have a better workout, and then I have a better speed, but it's like, there's peanut butter. Or is it just the fact that I ate something? So yeah, that's always the tricky part with this training. And I think honestly from an, because I'm more of the OBS, I, I'm not a researcher at the hall are really too much of a practitioner as much as I am just a heavy observationalist. And so I think that sometimes when I hear the arguments in training and what you have to do, what you, what you should do, et cetera, it loses kind of the scope of the whole picture. And that's something that I think the profession, I wish would tone down a little bit, you know, as far as like getting too fixated on something,


Coach Bob King (10:45):

Well, it's always scary to me when whatever the monthly magazine comes out, or somebody goes the latest or something. It's like, cause I have to go look into it cause I have to respond to what I'm going to get when I go to come to the gym and they'd go, well, I saw, or I read it. I heard and I have to be able to say, yeah, but, okay, it's you know, it's like a lot of things, maybe you don't wanna eat raw eggs, but you want them in your cake, you know, you want them scrambled, but you know, it's, how do you use it? Where does it, where does it fit into the whole? So yeah, it's, it's going to be out there some, you know, to make a buck or sell something. But the idea is to look at things objectively and say, how can this help me in the broad scheme of what I'm trying to accomplish? I want to be super fit. I want to be faster. I want to be strong, whatever it is.


Aaron King (11:36):

Okay. So we have these isolated exercises and we're trying to find out what things benefit, et cetera. Now, the, to prescribe these things. Okay. And know we touched on a second ago, but even taking a step back, how do you identify where the weaknesses are? And is it, is it, I can't get past this, this, this angle is it my I'm shifting weight


Coach Bob King (11:59):

All the above. And so you know, from a coaching standpoint I like to use this example all the time. And so there's a story about you know, if you're a pathologist you can't know every imaginable disease that the human body or tissue will will acquire. So you become, you know, what normal, healthy human tissue is. If you're a pathologist, you say, okay, that's normal, that's normal. I'm not sure what that is, but that's wrong. And so you can, you can stand behind somebody and watch them squat and go, Oh, your hips are way off. Well, it may be that obvious, but there are some times when there's a problem in technique, and this is maybe you know, some deficit of my part, but there's something wrong with the technique. The question is not having a unanimous, what's wrong with their technique.


Coach Bob King (12:45):

Well, they lift hips higher. That then tells me what it doesn't tell me why. And so with, with technique, it's like, no, why are they doing that? And it could be, Oh, you had an ankle injury, your left ankle was broken and it's so, Oh, we have an ankle problem, not a hip problem. And so that becomes, the issue is like, so in medicine, it's the differential diagnosis, your hips are off. Well, why? Well, he has a, he has a, you know, one leg shorter than the other one legs got a sore knee. So we have to go back and re retrace and find out what the source of the problem is. So when you do that, that makes the exercise prescription clear. Well, we need to do the hip thrusts here because you're, you're cockeyed with your hips. And so we need to get into those finer muscles up in the higher part of the hip and get those stronger. Okay. you got a hamstring problem, so let's get the RDL going and really get them some attention. So knowing why gives you exercise prescription ability? All right. And what was the source of this? This is my journal of strength and conditioning from the NSCA. And this is a new article. And so it's not anything it's very dusty in Australia. And these guys took the time to put it together. So this was very recent.


Aaron King (13:59):

Awesome. I love studies like this. It really helps you, you know, just, you got to have science. And so it's great, to see a study like this. All right. Well, if you have any questions about this just if you're on YouTube questions, comments obviously below we'll, we'll respond to those Coach King. You can reach him on Twitter or Instagram @CoachBobKing. I'm at @DeepSnap on all social media and then go to to get the latest training programs. We have sports specific age-specific make request us we'll publish those workouts course courses, literally as much content as we can put out. We try to do so, but thanks for tuning in today. And we'll have another exciting topic next week here on the podcast. See you next time.


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