It’s all well and good having the latest gadgets and gizmos to help you along your fitness journey, but if you don’t know how to use them properly, you could be leaving a lot of gains on the table.
Or even worse could happen – you could leave yourself open to injury.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to properly perform hip circle squats so you can get the most out of your workouts and stay safe in the process.
What Are Hip Circle Squats?
Hip circle squats are bodyweight exercises performed using hip circle bands to make the squat more challenging. This exercise has tons of benefits, some of which are listed below.
- Strengthens muscles around your joints
- Promotes proper squatting form
- Improves squatting performance with the barbell
- Low impact, low risk
- Excellent for people returning from injury
- They can be performed anywhere, such as hotel room, office, or park
How Best To Use Hip Circle Squats
There are many ways to incorporate hip circles into your fitness program, depending on your goals and abilities.
Hip circles with a low strength band can be used as a warm-up or as an aid to recovery following an injury, or as an accessory exercise to help build muscle alongside other heavier exercises like barbell squats, sumo deadlifts, or leg extensions.
If you have a high strength band or are relatively new to resistance training, hip circle squats can be used as a core exercise to build muscle and increase mobility.
How To Do Hip Circle Squats
With all that information of the way, here’s a step-by-step guide that will have you doing hip circle squats with proper form and improving your workouts.
Place the hip circle band (we like the ones from Victorem) on the floor and step into it. Pull the band up until it’s a couple of inches above your knees. Part your feet slightly until there’s a little tension to stop the band from falling down.
Get comfortable in your stance and spread your feet about shoulder-width apart, and point your toes outwards slightly. Feel the tension build in the hip circle band as it tries to pull your knees together. Resist the urge to let your knees collapse inwards by externally rotating them just a little.
Lift your arms up and put them front of you until they’re parallel to the floor. Using your arms to keep your balance, keep your knees externally rotated, pushing them outwards, fighting the resistance of the band, and in a controlled manner, lower your butt to the floor. As your thighs get parallel to the ground – stop.
If you can go “ass to grass” (or below parallel), then go for it, but it’s not essential to reap the benefits of this exercise.
When you reach the bottom, the pressure from the bands will be at its strongest, and you’ll have to be mindful of keeping your knees pushed outwards at this point, ensuring a mind-muscle connection. Pause there for a second, keeping your core, hips, and glutes tight.
What goes down must come back up, or something like that. After your brief pause, initiate the second part of the squat. Stand up. However, it’s a little more nuanced than that.
Instead of simply standing up in a controlled manner, try and push the floor away through your heels, all the while fighting the inwards pressure of the hip circle bands with your knees, thighs, and glutes.
Lock out your knees when you get to the top to finish the rep.
Repeat the process as much as you feel the need to. If you’re using hip circle squats as a warm-up or as a recovery tool, there’s no need to do more than eight to ten reps per set using a light band.
If you’re doing hip circle squats as accessory exercises (as additional moves in your program) or main compound movements, in that case, you’ll need a heavier duty band to increase the resistance to put the correct amount of tension to build muscle and achieve your goals.
So there you have it, a simple step-by-step guide to hip circle squats.
Following this process will have you knocking out set after set of this valuable and effective exercise with perfect form to challenge your body. They can also help correct any imbalances in your muscles and increase your performance in this and any other lower body exercises you have programmed into your routine.