Band walks (a.ka. Monster Walks) are a physical therapy staple for hip strengthening, and are often used with patients who have had knee injuries or are suffering from back and/or hip pain.
It has been shown in the research that weakness of the glute muscles of the hip can be a direct cause of poor alignment through the lower extremities creating problems such as patellofemoral pain (anterior knee pain) and also putting one at higher risk for ACL injury.
Weakness through the hips is also proposed to be a cause of lower back pain since one is using the hip inefficiently to stand up, squat, lift, etc then the tendency is to overuse the lower back muscles to perform these tasks.
So strengthening the hip muscles sounds like a great idea right?
It can be when done correctly. In the video below I demonstrate the wrong way to perform these exercises along with some simple corrections (the corrections may look simple, but they make the exercise much more difficult – and effective).
Hopefully you noticed that I talked about the importance of the trunk remaining stable throughout the exercise. Only through stabilizing the trunk can the hip truly generate efficient force. This is the most common mistake made, and in my opinion, makes the exercise a complete waste of time.
Give it a shot and let me know if you have any questions.