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Published on October 6th, 2012 | by Key Reads


Why Hip Extensions Trump Squats

By Trinisha Richardson



Squats are viewed as the epitome of lower body workouts.  Many believe that there is no exercise that will benefit the lower body as much as squats.  While squats can have a great impact on the muscle tone of your lower half, they are not the only or even the best exercise for your butt and thighs.


In 1999, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) completed a study on lower body workouts.  They surveyed ACE-certified trainers on exercises that strengthen and build the butt muscles.  While the most replied answer was squats, the researchers conducted a test to see the accuracy of these claims.


The eight most common butt exercises were used to studied for their effectiveness using Electromyographic electrodes to demonstrate how and which muscles are stimulated during workout.  The targeted muscle groups were gluteus maximus which is the largest and most superficial gluteal muscle that gives shape to the butt, the gluteus medius which is the middle gluteal muscle, and the hamstrings which are the muscles that run down the back of your thighs.


The results were that while squats are among the workouts most effective, hip extensions are at the very top of the list.  This is why hip extensions trump squats.  Squats ranked second in building the gluteus maximus behind hip extensions which is the highest ranking that squats achieved during this study.  It is shown that squats are not all that beneficial to the other muscles tested.


Hip extensions also ranked first in working the gluteus medius and the hamstrings meaning that this exercise was most effective than all the other workouts in all three areas tested. There are better alternatives to squats for these two muscle groups as concluded by the study. Why hip extensions trump squats is answered with the fact that hip extensions target 55 percent more of your hamstring muscle and 79 percent more of your gluteal muscle.


Hip extensions  strengthen lower back muscles while increasing flexibility as well.



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