Hip strengthening should be a stable of any rehabilitation or strength and conditioning program. The hip musculature is capable of generating large amounts of torque used for explosive athletic movements. Additionally, the hips are the key to trunk and core stability, and therefore balance. To be simplistic, our trunk sits on top of our hips. Thus, if our hips are weak, it doesn’t matter how much core strengthening we do, because the foundation on which our core sits upon is weak.
An analogy I like to make is to that of a house on the cliffs. You could build the biggest and most glorious house (ie 6-pack) on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, but if the stilts and foundation (ie hips) upon which this mansion sits upon is weak, the house will undoubtedly collapse.
So now we’ve determined that targeting the hips to improve dynamic stability is of utmost importance. However, our ability to balance is determined in large part by not only hip stability, but also ankle stability. So how do we tease out ankle contributions to balance while focusing solely on hip stability?
ANSWER: BOSU AIRPLANES ON KNEE
Bosu airplanes are the perfect exercise for challenging hip stability without any ankle contribution. Bosu airplanes can be used as an assessment test to determine if an athlete is properly recruiting from the hips during single leg movements. Or they can be used as a rehabilitation exercise for foot/ankle patients who are currently non-weight bearing. Additionally, bosu airplanes can be used as a strength and conditioning exercise to dynamically challenge a patient’s ability to control perturbations of balance using only the hip for stability.
Bottom line: Bosu Airplanes are the ultimate exercise for targeting hip stability without ankle contribution!