Exercises to stretch, stabilise and strengthen the hips
Posted by Tia Patel | Jan-19-2021
The following exercises are designed to stretch and loosen the hips, strengthen the pelvis for strong hips and stabilise the structures that support your hip to manage and relieve pain.
It’s important not to overstretch yourself if you’re in pain. It’s normal to feel some aching in the muscles after exercising, but you should stop and seek advice if you have joint pain that lasts more than a few days.
Strengthening exercises for strong hips
Hip flexion - Hold onto a work surface and march on the spot to bring your knees up towards your chest alternately. Don’t bring your thigh above 90 degrees.
Hip extension - Move your leg backwards, keeping your knee straight. Clench your buttock tightly and hold for five seconds. Don’t lean forwards. Hold onto a chair or work surface for support.
Hip abduction - Lift your leg sideways, being careful not to rotate the leg outwards. Hold for five seconds and bring it back slowly, keeping your body straight throughout. Hold onto a chair or work surface for support.
Heel to buttock exercise - Bend your knee to pull your heel up towards your bottom. Keep your knees in line and your kneecap pointing towards the floor.
Exercises to stabilise hips
Stomach exercise - Lie on your back with your knees bent. Put your hands under the small of your back and pull your belly button down towards the floor. Hold for 20 seconds
Bridging - Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your pelvis and lower back off the floor. Hold the position for five seconds and then lower down slowly.
Stretches to loosen tight hips
External hip rotation - Start with your knees bent and feet together. Press your knees down towards the floor using your hands as needed. Alternatively, lie on your back and part your knees, keeping your feet together. Take the movement up to the point you feel a stretch, hold for around 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times.
Knee lift - Lie on your back. Pull each knee to your chest in turn, keeping the other leg straight. Take the movement up to the point you feel a stretch, hold for around 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times. If this is difficult, try sliding your heel along the floor towards your bottom to begin with, and when this feels comfortable try lifting your knee.
The hip joints are the largest in the body. Taking good care of your hips will help your flexibility, your mobility and to prevent issues in later life, so why not give these exercises a try and let us know how you get on!