For the incline version, position the hands on the BOSU Ballast Ball so that they are beneath the shoulders. The elbows should be stable and close to full extension but do not have to be locked.
Keeping the body still and the core tight, slowly lift one hip into full extension. Pause at the top and then slowly lower back down. For beginners, I suggest alternating legs and allowing a return touch down of the foot. For advanced clientele, I recommend consecutive repetitions on the same leg without allowing the foot to touch back down.
The next progression would be a decline version of the exercise. Now the hands are on the floor (again positioned beneath the shoulders) and the toes resting on top of the BOSU Ballast Ball. If this is too unstable, the dorsum of the feet may be positioned on the BOSU Ballast Ball (the finish to both versions is pictured below).
Maintaining a still upper body and core, slowly lift one leg into full hip extension. Pause at the top and return to the start position. Like before, I suggest alternate leg lifts for beginners and consecutive leg lifts for those who are advanced and have enough stability to execute the movement correctly.
I suggest performing 1-3 sets of 5-15 repetitions on each side. Quality of the movement and proper alignment and stability should be a primary focus. The speed of movement should be slower and deliberate.
Precautions: Sufficient upper body strength is a must for this exercise. Clients with wrist pain/weakness or elbow and shoulder pathology should only perform this exercise provided they have are symptom free and have moved through the following progressions.
1. Three (3) point hip extension using a bench (body is inclined)
1. Three (3) point hip extension with feet on the bench (body is declined)
Brian Schiff, PT, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor at the Athletic Performance Center in Raleigh, NC. Brian presents nationally at several professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more cutting edge training information, subscribe to his monthly Training & Sports Medicine Update at www.BrianSchiff.com.