Have you ever felt your hip muscles tight or inflexible at the end of the day? Your job might be the one to blame here!
Working on the computer for several hours at your desk job can lead to tight muscles in your hips. Excessive sitting or too little exercise can stress those ball-and-socket joints to a great extent. This can have an equally adverse impact on the low-back and knee joint as well.
Research states that it’s important to strengthen the muscles in that area to improve your mobility and posture. Frequently stretching the hip muscles can help you improve stability and flexibility in your movements, allowing you to be more fluid with daily chores.
While it’s essential to work on those muscles, you need to ensure not to over engage them as well. Overusing these muscles can lead to exorbitant stress, resulting in pain and even injury.
With this thin line of difference, it can be confusing on which exercise to do and how to ensure the perfect form. Well, wave all your worries goodbye, as we have prepared a mindful list of top 15 exercises for stronger hips. So, get ready to break a sweat!
Muscles to Target
We are all aware of the general hip muscles term, but three different sub-branches work together to help you move.
Hip flexors help us bend. Whenever you’re bending your knees to walk or climbing the stairs, you use your hip flexors. These muscles include:
- Rectus femoris (part of quadriceps)
- Psoas major (connects your spine and thigh bone)
- Iliacus (connects your hip or thigh bone)
- Pectineus (groin muscle)
- Sartorius (connects hip and knee joint)
Hip extensors help in the extending of the hips. These include:
- Biceps femoris (hamstrings)
- Gluteus maximus (main gluteus muscle)
These help in moving your leg away from your body. These muscles include:
- Gluteus medius (side of your glutes)
- Gluteus minimus (between interior and anterior glutes)
- Tensor fasciae latae (TFL) (connects to the iliotibial band for stability)
Exercises to Enhance Hip Mobility and Strength
This is one of the best hip strengthening workouts. It targets your quads, hips, and hamstrings. Make sure you don’t bend your waist while performing this and keep increasing your pace. Here’s how to perform them:
- Stand while extending your arms in front of you and keep your palms facing down.
- Extend your right leg up straight to create a 90-degree angle with your body.
- Swing your left leg up to create the same angle
- Keep doing this for 1 minute and keep changing your direction
This is a great hip exercise that helps you get more stable and flexible. You can gain support from a stable object to perform this exercise as well:
- Stand on your right leg and lift the other one.
- Move the lifted leg in circles.
- Complete 20 circles in each direction.
- Repeat with your right leg
This amazing hip muscle strengthening exercise focuses on your hips, thighs, and glutes. It relieves the tightness in your lower back and helps you gain more stability. Here’s how you can master it:
- Lie down on any one of your sides, bend your knees, and stretch a resistance band around your lower thighs.
- Lift the leg lying on top as high as possible, keeping your knees bent, then hold for a moment.
- Lower to the initial position.
- Complete 1–3 sets of 8–15 repetitions
4.Dynamic Banded Glute Bridge
The dynamic banded glute bridge is one of the best hip exercises. To perform this, you would need a resistance band. Resistance bands by DMOOSE are of exceptional quality, offering durability, credibility, and value.
- Stretch the band above your knees, around your thighs.
- Lie down on your back, keeping your feet hip-width apart.
- Engage your core and push your hips up in the air by shifting your weight on your heels.
- Slowly walk three steps forward, then three steps backward. Keep your hips raised throughout.
- Complete 5 reps
5.Single-leg Romanian Deadlifts
This is one of the great exercises for stronger hips. It allows you to enhance your balance, improve mobility, and develop core strength. To perform this, you would need a dumbbell to target your glutes and hamstrings. Here’s how you can do it:
- Stand on your right leg while bending your knee a bit. Keep a dumbbell in your left hand.
- Move forward, bringing your torso parallel to the floor. At the same time, lift your left leg. Make sure to keep your spine neutral.
- Stand up straight and lower your left leg to the ground.
- Do 2–3 sets of 8–15 reps on each side
[Related Article: 10 things I wish I knew Before I Started Lifting]
6.Weighted Front Rack Squat
This exercise is a fun variation to your squats by adding weights. It improves your core strength, improves posture, and eases movements.
- Keep your feet a little further than hip-width apart.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand to the level of your shoulders.
- Ensure to keep your back straight, then bend your knees and lower your body to squat.
- Complete 10 reps
7.Lateral Lunge to Balance
These lunges target your thighs and glutes. This hip muscle-strengthening exercise also helps you improve your balance.
- Stand with your feet at the width of your hips.
- Step your right leg out without bending your left leg. Bend your right leg to lower down in a side lunge.
- Push your right leg up to stand back up and raise the leg up to your chest.
- Continue 10 reps, then change sides for another 10 reps.
If you are a senior, this is one of the good hip exercises. Dynamic stretching with no load helps improve the range of motion, which is ideal for elderlies. It helps you stretch and improve blood circulation. You can put cushions under your thighs for support.
- Sit down with your knees bent and keep the soles of your feet together.
- Cross your fingers under your feet. Use your elbows to press your knees to the floor softly.
- You would feel an opening in your hips as this pose releases tension.
- Pause for 30 seconds, then extend your arms in front of you, and come into a forward fold.
- Pause in this position for up to 1 minute.
9.Standing Quad Stretch
This is a simple and easy to do stretch that improves your mobility and stability. Here’s what to do:
- Stand up straight or stab a sturdy thing to keep your balance.
- Hold your left foot and bend it back so that it touches your hips. You would feel a stretch in your hips and the front of your legs.
- Hold this position for around one minute.
This is an easy hip strengthening workout that targets your calves, quads, and hamstrings. Here is how to practice it correctly:
- Stand and keep your feet at a distance that’s a bit wider than your shoulder width. Keep your right foot in front and leg food behind.
- Bend your knee more than 90 degrees to raise your left foot to the toes.
- Push your right foot up to stand back straight, standing in the same position.
- Complete 10 reps, then change sides.
This exercise works on your glutes and hips to improve your mobility. It’s easy to perform, and here’s how you can do it:
- Get on your all fours in a tabletop position. Lift your right knee and bend it as you kick upward.
- This would take the sole of your foot facing the ceiling.
- Return to the beginning position.
- Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions on both sides
12.Side Plank with Knee Drive
When it comes to how to improve hip mobility, this exercise works magic on your glutes.
- Lower down in the position of a side plank. Place your left elbow under the shoulder and legs above each other. Stretch your core and keep your back straight.
- Slowly lift your knee upwards towards your chest. Stay in this position for just a second, then return to the initial position.
- Complete 5-8 reps on each side.
This hip strengthening exercise focuses on your glutes, hamstrings, and core. This helps you get a good posture and stretch your hips.
- Lie down on your back, bend your knees, and your feet toward your hips.
- Place your palms on the floor on the side of your body.
- Lift and extend your right leg, so it’s straight.
- At the same time, lift your hips as high as you can.
- Pause in this position for 30 seconds.
- Do 2–3 times reps on each side.
14.Threading The Needle
This hip muscle exercise stretches your hips and glutes perfectly. This is how you can perform it:
- Lie down and bend your knees.
- Place your right foot slightly above your knee so that your ankle touches the thigh.
- Cross your fingers around your thigh and pull your leg towards your chest.
- Pause here for 1 minute.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
15.Banded Prone Hamstring Curl
Using a resistance band, this exercise engages your hamstrings and helps you stretch your hip muscles.
- Stretch the resistance band around your ankles and lie down on your stomach.
- Place your hands under your chin and lift your right foot up towards the glutes.
- Lower it back down and repeat 10 reps with each leg.
[Related Article: Why Ankle Straps are The Best Choice for Lower Body Perfection]
Keeping your hip strong is essential for daily movements. If you are an office worker, stretching your hips regularly will help improve your mobility which helps in the longer run. While performing the exercises mentioned above, it’s important to keep your form accurate to prevent any injury.
Make sure to stay consistent with the workouts in order to experience sustainable workouts. Also, consult a doctor before performing any exercise if you have health issues.