For athletes, powerful hips can make the difference between good and great. Strong hips improve speed, agility and rotational movements key to many sport activities like baseball, golf and soccer. For this TheraBand CLX Workout of the Weekend, we’re featuring the Monster Walk exercise. This hip-focused exercises blast the quads and glutes (gluteus medius and gluteus maximums) to help build monster strength strength and enhance performance. Grab your TheraBand CLX and get ready to move with our Workout of the Weekend!
Several studies have evaluated the EMG (muscle activation level) of the hip muscles when performing the monster walk exercise (also known as ‘side-stepping’). One study found moderate levels of activation in the gluteal muscles (~30% maximal contraction) performing this exercise (Selkowitz et al. 2013). There are several variations of this exercise that include placing the elastic resistance at the ankles, which can increase the muscle activation (Cambridge et al. 2012), because of the longer lever arm. Interestingly, the stance leg generally has higher muscle activation than the moving leg (Berry et al. 2015). Furthermore, Berry and colleagues (2015) reported that performing the Monster Walk exercise with a slight squat in the hips and knees will provide more favorable activation ratios between the glutes and TFL, which might be good for people suffering from IT Band tendonitis.
Monster Walk Exercise
To perform the Monster Walk Exercise, stand with the CLX wrapped around your thighs and the ends of the CLX in your hands. Bending your knees and hips slightly and keeping your back straight, take three steps sideways. Return three steps back to starting position and repeat.
Berry JW et al. 2015. Resisted Side Stepping: The Effect of Posture on Hip Abductor Muscle Activation. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2015 Sep;45(9):675-82.
Cambridge ED et al. 2012. Progressive hip rehabilitation: the effects of resistance band placement on gluteal activation during two common exercises. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). Aug;27(7):719-24.
Selkowitz et al. 2013. Which exercises target the gluteal muscles while minimizing activation of the tensor fascia lata? Electromyographic assessment using fine-wire electrodes. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 43(2):54-64