Exercises You Should Be Doing: Supine Straight Leg Hip Extension with Alternate Hip Flexion

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Admittedly, today’s “Exercise You Should Be Doing” doesn’t highlight anything visually badass like, say, deadlifts vs. chains, recoiled sled high pulls (<– seriously, check that out), or, I don’t know, juggling chainsaws while balancing on a BOSU ball.1

25682290 - detail of the chainsaw isolated on the white background

Copyright: photozi / 123RF Stock Photo

Nope, today’s exercise recommendation is very plain looking and is about as vanilla as they come. It’s not flashy and it (probably) won’t win anyone any additional Instagram followers. But oh is it a doozy and one I feel is going to raise some eyebrows and surprise people at how challenging it really is.

Supine Straight Leg Hip Extension with Alternate Hip Flexion


Who Did I Steal It From: NYC based coach and AMP Training Active Movement & Performance owner, Chris Cooper.

What Does It Do: Not only is this great for glute activation, but because of the alternating nature of this drill (bringing one leg towards you chest at a time) it also serves as a fantastic core exercise as you must resist the hips from rotating to any one side. In fancy schmancy technical terms: you’re working on rotary pelvic control, or rotary stability.

Many people are incapable of controlling their lumbo-pelvic region and it’s no surprise we see a high incidence of SI joint issues, chronic low-back pain, and many other dysfunctions up and down the kinetic chain within this population.

Drills such as deadbugs, birddogs, Pallof presses, and planks are all exercises that tackle this head on. However, I hope this quick post will encourage people to add this exercise to their repertoire as well.

Key Coaching Cues: Place your feet (heels) on an elevated platform (no higher than 12″) and extend (elevate) your hips off the floor. From there place your fingers on the front of  your pelvis (ASIS) and slowly flex on hip, bringing your knee towards your chest. The idea is to use the kinesthetic feedback of fingers on the ASIS to keep your pelvis level throughout the duration of the exercise.

For added badassery, you can progress things by place a light band around your toes.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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  1. In CrossFit circles this is known simply at “Pete.”

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