Hip discomfort, like back pain, is a common problem among people. From standing and sitting to even walking—it can make everything difficult. Our hips are one of the most important parts of our body for maintaining proper posture. However, if you are experiencing pain there, it might cause stiffness, which limits your mobility and lowers your quality of life. So, it is important that we exercise for hip pain!
Why is strengthening hip joints important?
Strengthening the hip joint is important for overall health and mobility because it plays a crucial role in various daily activities such as walking, running, and even sitting. Jashan Vij, a health and fat loss coach, says, “Strong hips can also help prevent injuries and relieve pain caused by hip problems.”
Exercises for hip pain
Here are 7 effective exercises to support and strengthen the hip joint:
1. Hip bridge
Hip bridges are a fundamental exercise for building hip strength. It targets the gluteus maximus, a powerful hip extensor, the lower back, and the hamstring.
Lye on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, to perform hip bridge. Put your arms at your sides, palms down. Initiating the movement from your glutes, press through your heels and lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement for a second then lower your hips back to the ground. Perform 12-15 repetitions for optimal results.
2. Leg raise
Leg raises are a simple yet effective exercise for targeting the hip flexors and lower abdominal muscles. Strengthening these muscles can help alleviate hip pain, improve overall hip joint stability, and release tight hips.
Begin by lying on your side with your legs straight. Lift your top leg as high as you can without altering the position of your pelvis. Hold this pose for a few seconds, and then lower it back down. Perform 12-15 repetitions on each side.
3. Hip flexor stretch
While not a strengthening exercise, the hip flexor stretch is essential for maintaining flexibility in the hip region, which complements strength training. It helps prevent hip flexor tightness, which can lead to hip joint discomfort.
Kneel on one knee with the other foot in front, forming a 90-degree angle with both knees. Slightly tilt your pelvis forward to feel a gentle stretch in the front of your hip on the kneeling leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.
4. Hip abductor machine
For those with access to a gym, the hip abductor machine is an effective way to isolate and strengthen the outer hip muscles. The hip abductor machine provides a targeted workout for the hip abductors, improving overall hip stability.
Sit on the machine, adjust the weight to a suitable level, and place your legs on the pads. Push your legs outward against the resistance and then return to the starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Clamshells specifically target the hip abductors, which are essential for stabilizing the hip joint. Clamshells help strengthen the hip abductor muscles, enhancing lateral stability.
To perform clamshells, lie on your side with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet touching. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee as high as possible without moving your pelvis. Lower your knee back down with control. Aim for 12-15 repetitions on each side.
6. Mini squat
Squats are a versatile exercise that can help strengthen the muscles around the hips and improve overall lower body stability. A mini squat variation is gentler on the hips and knees.
To perform this exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest up and your back straight. Bend your knees slightly, as if you’re about to sit back in a chair. Keep your weight in your heels and your knees aligned with your feet. Rise back up to the starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
7. Butterfly stretch
The butterfly stretch is an effective way to stretch the inner thigh muscles and hip joints, promoting flexibility and reducing tension.
To perform it, sit on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching. Hold your feet with your hands. Gently press your knees toward the floor while keeping your back straight. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then release. Repeat 2-3 times.
So ladies, start practicing these exercises today to enhance hip joint strength and stability.