10 Hip-Strengthening Exercises You Should Try

10 Hip-Strengthening Exercises You Should Try

As young and carefree individuals, we may not have thought twice about dancing or freely rotating our hips. Unfortunately, age takes its toll on our general wellbeing, and tight, immobile hips can significantly affect mobility.

But you don’t have to resort to popping pain-relieving drugs by the dozen. Instead, make sure to rely on simple hip exercises you can easily do at home.

Benefits of Hip Exercise

Rigorous movement may not be a big part of your daily life, but exercising the hip joints is incredibly beneficial in the long run. For one, it will help you get rid of the pain and weakness in the joint. You do not need to buy over-the-counter medication to remain functional. 

A sedentary lifestyle affects the mobility of the ball-and-socket joint that makes up the hip; you must take care to keep your body, including your hips, fit. There are many hip exercises you can consider building strength and reduce pain. Hip exercises can be advantageous for every individual, regardless of age, gender, profession or lifestyle. 

Here are some simple hip-strengthening exercises that can help you:

#1 Static glute bridge

Static glute bridge

The glute muscles are one of the major muscles of the lower body: you have three of them, namely the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Try the static glute bridge to strengthen these muscles. 

Instructions: 

  • Lie down on your back and place the hands by the sides of your body
  • Fold your knees into a flexed position and place the feet firmly on the floor
  • Brace your stomach and raise the hip up as much as possible
  • Tighten the glute muscles and hold the position for about 10-20 seconds
  • Slowly return to the starting position. 
  • This exercise is a sure-fire way of strengthening your gluteal muscles. 

#2 Dynamic glute bridge

Sitting behind a desk at the office or home can rob your hip of flexibility and lead to tight hips, in turn leading to a range of problems. 

You don’t have to strain the muscles too hard with this exercise. 

Instructions: 

  • Lie down on your back and place the hands by the sides of your body
  • Fold your knees into a flexed position and place the feet firmly on the floor
  • Brace your stomach and raise the hip up as much as possible
  • Tighten the glute muscles and hold the position for about 1 -2  seconds
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat
  • This is a great way to improve mobility and get rid of lower back pain.

#3 Single-leg bridge

Single-leg bridge

Single-leg bridges are among the most effective exercises for strong glutes and hamstrings (the long muscles on the backside of your upper thighs). 

Instructions: 

  • Lie down on your back and place the hands by the sides of your body
  • Fold your knees into a flexed position and place the feet firmly on the floor
  • Brace your stomach and raise the hip up as much as possible
  • Tighten the glute muscles, extend one leg straight and hold the position for about 10-20 seconds
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat the exercise using the other leg. 

This exercise works to strengthen your glutes, spine, and core. Athletes, in particular, favor this exercise, as it gives the best results suited for leading a physically active life.

#4 Standing leg/hip abduction

Standing leg/hip abduction

Exercise the hip abductor muscles by including the gluteus medius and minimus in the movement. This will let you move the leg away from your body without thinking twice or feeling any pain. 

Instructions: 

  • Simply stand in a natural position, with your legs slightly apart
  • Keeping your upper body firm, raise one leg to the side as much as possible. Slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat on the other side

You will also be able to dance gracefully as the ability to rotate your leg from the hip joint increases over time. This is the most effective exercise to get rid of the knock-kneed appearance with no pain experienced as you continue to use your hip muscles actively after that.

#5 Side-lying leg/hip abduction

Side-lying leg/hip abduction

This exercise is identical to standing abduction, but you do it in a side lying position

Instructions: 

  • Lying down on one side with legs extended straight. 
  • Support your head with one arm 
  • Raise your top side leg as much as possible 
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Do 10-15 Reps, flip to the other side and continue with the other leg. 

#6 Fire hydrant

Fire hydrant

This is also a type of hip abduction that requires you to go down on all fours. Also called quadruped hip abductions, this exercise strengthens the gluteus muscles and the core of the body. You will not only be able to have a sculpted appearance in the back, but will be able to reduce pain in the hip and lower back considerably. You also lower the risk of injuring your back or hip.

Instructions: 

  • Position your hands below the shoulders, and the hips above your knees as you get down on all fours. 
  • Remember to look down, engaging your core. 
  • Lift one leg to the side as much as possible
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Do 10-15 Reps and repeat with the other leg

#7 Standing hip extension

Standing hip extension

Improve the performance of the gluteal muscles with this simple exercise that you can do at home. 

Instructions: 

  • Support yourself by gripping a chair or table as you stand with your legs slightly apart. Draw in your navel to protect your back muscles. 
  • Keep the knees straight and kick one leg outward as much as possible. Make sure not to bend your upper body forward.
  • Slowly return the leg to starting position, and repeat with the other leg. 
  • Do 10-15 reps on each leg

#8 Donkey kicks

Donkey kicks

The donkey kick is a rewarding exercise to perfect, sculpted, and toned gluteus muscles. 

Instructions: 

  • Position your hands below the shoulders, and the hips above your knees as you get down on all fours. 
  • Remember to look down, engaging your core. 
  • Raise one leg backwards as much as possible
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Do 10-15 Reps and repeat with the other leg

#9 Side-lying lower leg lifts

Side-lying lower leg lifts

This popular exercise is a favorite recommendation of physical therapists, and for a good reason: it can go a long way towards strong, healthy hips and knees. However, you must do it correctly to get the desired results. 

Instructions: 

  • Lie down on your side, with your legs extended straight 
  • Keep the core tight and draw in the navel towards the spine. 
  • Fold the top leg and keep the feet on the floor
  • Slowly raise the bottom leg as much as possible
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Do 10-15 Reps
  • Turn to the other side and repeat with the other leg. 

#10 Stability ball hip adduction

Stability ball hip adduction

Instructions: 

  • Use an exercise ball as a prop here. 
  • Lie down on your back with knees bent and feet kept wide on the floor
  • Hold the exercise ball between your legs.
  • Squeeze the ball as tight as possible with your knees and hold the position for 6-10 seconds and release.
  • Do 4-5 times

This is an extremely effective way to exercise the hip adductors and is particularly beneficial for beginners.

There are more than 20 muscles in your hip that control your posture and mobility. Neglecting to move the muscles over long periods can cause pain and immobility. Physiotherapists and doctors recommend hip-strengthening exercises to improve mobility, tone up your lower body, and eliminate pain.

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