Exercises to Strengthen the Hip Muscles

You can keep your hip joints healthy by strengthening the muscles around your hips and legs. These exercises are simple to work into your daily routine. They can be easily added to your gym workout.

Keeping your hips strong has many benefits, including:

  • Helps you with balance
  • Maintains your ability to walk normally
  • Helps keep your hips pain-free

This article looks at some exercises that will help you strengthen your hip muscles. It also discusses the benefits of adding these exercises to your routine.

Women in a yoga class
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Benefits of Hip Strengthening Exercises

The hip joint is known as a large "ball and socket" joint. This is because the round head of the thigh bone fits into the cup of the pelvis bone.

The hip is held in place by strong ligaments and muscles. The gluteus medius is one of these muscles.

The hip is a common site of osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative condition of the joints. You can help protect your hip joint from "wear and tear" by strengthening the muscles that support it.

Your hip also controls the position of your knee. If you have knee pain, strengthening your hips may be one part of your rehab program.

Your physical therapist (PT) may also prescribe hip exercises after total hip replacement. Physical therapy exercises can also help other causes of hip pain, including hip labrum tear.

Hip strengthening exercises can be done as part of a home exercise program. The exercises should be simple and should not cause pain.

Check with your doctor or PT before starting these or any other exercise program for your hips.

Recap

Hip exercises can help you recover from hip replacement surgery or other types of hip injuries. They can also help prevent osteoarthritis.

2:04

Click Play to Learn How to Do Hip Exercises

This video has been medically reviewed by Laura Campedelli, PT, DPT.

4 Exercises to Strengthen Your Hips

These quick and easy exercises will target and strengthen your hip muscles.

Straight Leg Raise

Instructions:

  1. Lie on your right side.
  2. Bend your right leg. Rest your left foot on the ground.
  3. Slowly lift your top leg as high as you can without bending at the waist. This helps keep the spine stable. Also, make sure your leg is in line with your trunk and not in front of it.
  4. Hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly lower the leg.
  5. Repeat 5 times. Change legs.

Isometric Gluteus Medius Exercise

Instructions:

  1. Lie on one side.
  2. Place a belt around both ankles.
  3. Lift your top leg up, pressing against the belt. Keep your knee straight.
  4. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat 10 times. Change legs.

Hip Flexion

Instructions:

  1. Stand up straight.
  2. Lift your right leg off the floor. Bend your right leg to create a 90-degree angle at the hip.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower the leg.
  4. Repeat 5 times. Change legs.

Wall Slide

Instructions:

  1. Stand upright with your back against a wall. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall. Do this for a count of five until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle. Do not bend too much further than this as it will cause increased strain on your knees.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Begin straightening your knees for a count of five, sliding up the wall. Finish in an upright position with your knees straight.
  5. Repeat 5 times.

These exercises can be done three to five times per week. Be sure to build in a rest day here or there. This will give your hip muscles time to recover.

You should also work on strengthening your knees and ankles. Ideally, you will want to completely work all muscle groups of your lower extremities.

Remember, your ankle and knee muscles help control the position of your hips, just as your hip muscles control the position of your knees and ankles. These muscles all work together.

Recap

Do these exercises three to five times a week. Try to also work on strengthening your knees and ankles.

Advanced Hip Exercises

When you are ready, you can make the leg lift and standing hip flexion exercises more challenging with an ankle weight.

Start light and build up gradually over time. Your physical therapist can help you develop the best strategy for this.

Once the exercise becomes easy, you can move on to more advanced hip strengthening exercises. Stop these exercises if you have significant discomfort. Always check with your doctor or PT before starting any new exercise program.

Recap

When you're ready, you can add difficulty with ankle weights. When these exercises become easy, you can move on to more advanced exercises. Be sure to consult your physical therapist or doctor before starting anything new.

Summary

Hip exercises can help strengthen your muscles and keep your hip joints healthy. This can help prevent pain and maintain your ability to balance and walk normally.

Hip exercises can help prevent osteoarthritis. They can also help you recover from knee pain and hip replacement surgery.

Hip exercises can be done three to five times a week. When you're ready, you can add difficulty with ankle weights.

Make sure to consult your doctor or physical therapist before starting a new exercise program. Stop any exercise if it causes significant discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What exercises should you do before hip replacement surgery?

    Low-impact exercises may help strengthen your muscles before hip replacement surgery. Try gentle stretching, walking, and using a stationary bicycle. Always check with your healthcare provider or surgeon first on what exercises are safe to do before surgery.

  • What exercises are good for hip arthritis?

    Swimming and pool exercises are good choices. This is because you are buoyant in the water. Other options include walking, rowing, bicycling, and using an elliptical trainer. Try to avoid exercises that put a strain on your hip joints. Running and sports that involve fast turns and stops, like basketball and tennis, are examples of exercise to avoid. Your healthcare provider can also give you suggestions on flexibility and strength exercises to help support your hip joints.

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6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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