The hip strengthening exercises in this video and article are to help you regain mobility, flexibility and normal function. This would be for restoration if you’ve had some sort of injury in the past, or you’ve developed some debilitating condition causing hip joint pain and impingement.
A word of caution first:
If you have had hip surgery or hip replacement please do not do any of these exercises without first checking with your physician. Write down a summary of each one of them, make and appointment and see your doctor to be sure these are ok in your physical situation.
If you have had recent surgery or hip replacement you should probably be under the care of a licensed, prescribed physical therapist. These are exercises for hip pain or other conditions that have caused problems which have developed gradually over time.
The exercises below are all dynamic. That means they first mimic, then exaggerate daily hip movements you actually make. This means you will be working toward restoring normal movement and use of your hips.
You will do each exercise 8-12 repetitions on each side. The exception will be the last exercise in which you will only do 3 on each side.
Standing Hip Strength And Mobility Exercises
1. Hip Pushdowns For Flexibility and Mobility
The first exercise will be pushing down on the hip while bending to one side. This is to mobilize the hip joint that has become weak and impinged.
- Start in a standing position with feet a little further than shoulder width apart.
- Bending one leg, lean to one side keeping the other leg straight to the side
- At the bottom of the movement press down firmly on the hip joint with your hand
- Return to the standing position
- Alternate sides/legs until the set is complete.
2. Lunging Hip Pushdowns for Strength and Mobility
Here instead of bending straight to one side, you will lunge to diagonally. Again, you will press on your hip at the bottom of the movement. This works the hip joint from a different angle for mobility and provides srengthening of the hip by lunging and standing.
This is especially effective for hip flexor pain and stiffness.
- Start in a standing position, feet slightly wider than shoulder width
- Step out at an angle bending the forward leg, keeping the back leg straght
- Push in on the hip joint at the bottom of the movement
- Return to the starting position.
- Alternate legs until the set is complete.
3. Standing Knee Raises For Mobility
This movement exaggerates stepping motions. The exercise mimis climbing stairs, working on stools of ladders or just vigorous walking. If these basic activities have become difficult, this movement will assist in restoring necessary mobility.
Caution: If you have problems with balance, use a sturdy chair to brace yourself during the exercise.Start by standing with hands on your hips or hanging to the side.
- Alternating legs, bring one knee straight up smoothly to the top of the movement, then back down
- This should all be in one movement.
- Perform with each leg until the set is complete.
- If necessary for balance, hold the back of a chair and do one leg at a time until each is complete.
NOTE: The top of the movement is the top for you. Pull the knee up as far as possible, but don’t try to force it past where it naturally stops. Also, do not pull it up to a point of significant pain.
POINTER: No exercise is cut in stone. These hip exercises are basic for improving mobility and use. However, if you feel one of them is not getting to the point of your hip condition, feel free to modify the exercise to stretch or strengthen as needed.
Simply changing the angle of a movement may be exactly what is needed for your situation. Or, in an exercise like the knee lift, simply putting your hand under your thing and lifting can add just the amount of extra stretch you need.
Modify for your physical needs.
As you get stronger and more mobile over the weeks, increase your range of motion, speed and strength challenges. Listen to your body, and as it allows, press ahead.
Seated Exercise For Lower Back And Hip Pain And Impingement
The hip restoration exercises we’ll do on the floor will give you a hard stretch in your hips and your lower back.
1. Leg And Hip Extension For Hip And Lower Back Flexibility
- Seated on the floor with one leg straight out, the other with foot tucked into your thigh (see picture).
- The foot of your extended leg should have the heel placed on the floor, foot pointed straight up.
- Reaching down with both hands grab your shin or ankle.
- In one smooth motion, head up, bend forward as far as possible toward your extended leg, then back up.
- Only bend until you feel the stretch in your hip and lower back.
- Do all reps on each leg until complete.
While some discomfort is expected, DO NOT bend until you feel significant pain
2. Butterfly Stretch For Hip Mobility
This will provide a significant downward/outward stretch of the hip joint. It is excellent for restoring mobility in the hips.
- Start seated on the floor with bottoms of feet pressed together, knees pointed out to the side.
- Reach and grasp your ankles.
- Put your elbows on your knees
- Press down on your knees with your elbows and hold for 5-8 seconds
- Let legs relax
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
FINAL HIP PAIN AND IMPINGEMENT EXERCISE: To be done at the end of the workout when muscles are warm
This will be the most significant exercise for complex back and hip stretching.
- Sit on the floor in the same position as the “Leg And Hip Extension” above.
- Reach across with one hand and pick up the foot of the bent leg
- Reach down with the same side hand and cradle the leg at the shin.
- Lift up on the leg while leaving it bent.
- While still holding the leg, lean straight back, fully lying flat on your back.
- Hold in that position for approximately 5 -10 seconds
- Alternate legs – 3 repetitions per side.
Caution: Watch the video for insight into this hip exercise.
Doing these hip joint restoration exercises over a period of a few weeks, you should notice a significant improvement in your ability to perform activities. Things you haven’t been able to do comfortably in years can change over just a few weeks.
Make these exercises a part of your life going forward. Almost everything on this website is meant to be ongoing and progressive. This not only provides restoration of joints and muscles.
It keeps it.