Most of us have a job that involves sitting on a chair most of the time. And you must have actually felt pain and tightness in your hip. Well, strengthening is mostly ignored until it starts bothering us and then we start looking for some hip strengthening exercises.
Also, if you are more into heavy workouts, strong hips will help you perform better. Hip pain is no fun and therefore you must start strengthening them. The muscles involved in these exercises normally are connected to your hip muscles or pass through the hip joint.
Mainly, hip strengthening exercises target your glutes, hamstring, quads, thighs, and core. Moreover, they prevent injury and muscle imbalance. Don’t forget to do a little warm-up before starting with the exercises. If you are a beginner, don’t worry start with basic exercises for a few weeks and then try the difficult ones. Otherwise, you might end up straining your hips.
Here are a few hip strengthening exercises that you can involve in your daily routine to stretch your hip muscles that in turn will help you move better and also reduce the lower body pain.
10 Best Hip Strengthening Exercises
Let’s get started.
1. Lateral Squat
Let us start the list of hip strengthening exercises with lateral squat. It works on your glutes, hamstring, and quad muscles. Moreover, it increases your hip flexibility and core stability. It also helps you get rid of thigh fat.
How to do:
- Stand with legs wider than the shoulder-width distance (double shoulder-width apart.) Relax your hands on your hips. This will be your starting position.
- Lower yourself down towards right by bending the right knee and push back your hips in a squat.
- Your right thighs should be parallel to the ground and your left leg should be completely extended. Your toes must point straight and do not lift your foot.
- Push your body to come back to start position by straightening your right leg.
- Now squat down on the other leg.
- Set – 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.
2. Side-Lying Leg Lifts
Side-lying leg lifts strengthen and builds your hip muscles. You can also perform this exercise by wearing an exercise band.
How to do:
- Now lie down on your left side and support your head with your left arm. Place the palm of your right hand in front of you.
- Stack your legs on top of each other. Now, stretch your right leg up in the air and hold it for a few seconds.
- Bring your right leg back down.
- Now change your side and perform the exercise with your left leg.
- Set -3 sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side.
3. Kettlebell Swing
Kettlebell swing targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. It also strengthens your hips as you thrust your hips while performing the swing.
How to do:
- Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than the shoulder-width distance. Squat down and grab a kettlebell with both your hands and hold it between your legs.
- Swing your arms between your legs and stand up as you swing the kettlebell up till it is in line with your shoulders.
- Your hands should be completely extended in front of you.
- Without losing the momentum, continue swinging the kettlebell.
- Sets- 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps each.
4. Side Plank With Knee Drive
Side planks work on the adductor muscles of the hip, glutes, hamstring, and hamstring. It also improves your core strength, balance, and help with lower back pain.
How to do:
- To get into position, lie down on to the right side. Stack your left foot on top of your right.
- Keep your right forearm flat on the ground and your upper arm should make 90 degrees with the floor. Your elbow should be right below the shoulders.
- Lift your body weight on your right hand and fold your left hand near the chest. You are now in the start position.
- Balance your body on your right arm. Now bring your left knee towards your chest, hold this position for a second and go back to start position. Repeat it for 10-12 times.
- Perform this exercise with the other knee as well.
- Sets – 2 sets of 10 reps on each side
Lunges focus more on the lower body strength and it targets your hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It also tones your thigh muscles and gets rid of the extra thigh fats. To make it more challenging add in weights to this exercise. Apart from simple lunges, you can try other variations, like lateral lunges, crusty lunges, etc.
How to do lateral lunge:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold on to a pair of dumbells or bring your palms together in front of your chest. This will be your starting position.
- With your right leg a big step towards your right. Now bend your right knee, push your butt back and lower yourself down towards the right.
- Your left leg should be completely extended and do not lift your foot.
- Come back to start position by lifting your right leg.
- Repeat the same for the other leg.
- Sets – 2 sets of 10 reps on each side.
Step up exercise targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Mentioned below is easy version for the beginners, for the intermediate level you can hover the other leg and come back down on that leg. You can also add in more variations like performing reverse lunges after step-up.
How to do:
- Stand near a bench or box which does not move. Keep your back straight and feet close.
- Lift your left leg and step on top of the box.
- Now lift yourself up by lifting the right leg and place it on the box.
- Come back to the start position by bringing your left leg down first and then the right leg.
- Sets – 10 reps leading with left leg and 10 reps leading with the right leg in each set.
7. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
You must be familiar with the normal glute bridge. This is an advance level of it. It strengthens your hamstrings and glutes. You will also feel a stretch in your hips.
How to do:
- Lie down on a mat with your arms on the sides and your palms should be facing the floor. Bend your knees such that lie flat on the floor.
- Now lift your right foot off the ground and extend it straight in the air.
- Lift your hips off the ground until your back and thighs form a bridge i.e. they are in a straight line.
- Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and bring down your buttocks on the floor. This finishes one rep.
- Perform the same by extending your left leg.
- Sets- 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps
8. Hip flexor
This exercise helps you stretch your hip flexors. Additionally, it also stretches glutes and quads. But you have to be careful while performing it as it can tear your hip flexors.
How to do:
- For start, you’ll have to get down into a lunge position. Kneel on your left knee and keep your right foot flat on the ground.
- Now, stretch your left hip towards the ground as you lean your torso forward. This will stretch your hip flexors. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Now switch to the other leg and perform the same exercise.
- Sets – 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.
9. Figure four stretch
Figure four stretch is one of the best lower body exercises that target the hips, lower back, and glutes. It also relieves lower back pain and increases flexibility.
How to do:
- Lie down on a mat and bend your knees to keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Now lift your left legs and place its ankle on the right knee.
- Using both your hands hold your right thigh and pull it towards your chest.
- Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. You’ll feel a stretch in your glute and hip.
- Switch legs and repeat
- Sets – 2 sets of 5 to 8 reps on each leg.
10. Banded Exercise
Just like weight even resistance band works on your muscles. There are a number of stretches and exercises you can try with the resistance band. Some of them are
- Banded hip march
- Banded squat jumps
- Bridge lifts
- Bicycle crunches
Lower body workout with banded exercise works on quads, glutes, hamstrings, outer thighs, and also engage your core. The different colors of the bands have a different level of resistance.
How to do banded squats:
- First of all, put a band around your knees (above or below the knees). Now stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Lock your fingers to hold your hands near the chest or simply stretch it out with palms facing down.
- Maintaining the tension in the band lower your hip down till the thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Hold this position for a second and push yourself up and return to the starting position.
- Sets – 10 to 15 reps in each set.
- Increase the difficulty by adding a jump in between.
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