Ryan Cross, B.A. Hons (Kin), MScPT, FCAMPT
Registered Physiotherapist in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

The importance of hip strengthening can’t be overstated.  In clinic, weakness in the muscles around the hip contributes to pain and injury in many different areas.  The hip should be assessed in cases of low back pain, knee pain, and foot pain.  Improving strength in the muscles around the hip can help in the recovery and prevention of injuries.  Common hip strengthening exercises are effective, but it’s always good to change up your strength routine to keep things interesting. Incorporating creative ways to strengthen your hips will motivate you and provide a new stimulus to the muscles. 

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Hip abduction strength gets a lot of attention when discussing hip strengthening.  While it is very important to develop hip abductor strength, total hip strength requires some consideration to strengthening the hip flexors. The hip flexors attach to the pelvis and lumbar spine, therefore providing support and stabilization.  Powerful hip flexors are also important for activities like sprinting, lifting, and jumping. The hip abductors provide pelvic stability and lower extremity alignment. With many muscles around the hip, it is important to target all areas to get powerful hips.

hip diagram

Photo Credit: https://osteopathysingapore.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/abductors1.jpg
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Banded Bicycle

  • Wrap a theraband around your feet
  • This will provide resistance as your move your leg straight and pull your knee up
  • Resistance in each direction will target hip flexor and extensor strength
  • Hold each position for 10 seconds, repeat 10 times.

banded bicycle exerciseSingle Leg Hip Bridge with knee lift

  • Wrap band around your feet
  • Lift one foot off the ground and use the opposite leg to lift your hips off the ground
  • From this position lift your knee up as far as comfortable
  • These movements help to strengthen the hip flexor and gluteal muscle groups
  • Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times

Single Leg Hip Bridge with knee lift

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Side Plank with Hip Thrust

  • Wrap the band around your knees
  • Lift the top leg to stretch the band
  • Move into a side plank position and push your hips forward
  • Hold 10 seconds, repeat 10 times

Side Plank with Hip ThrustLunge with Gluteal Activation

  • Wrap the band around your knee and get into a static lunge position
  • Pull the band to pull your knee in
  • Use your hip muscles to prevent the knee from moving in by pushing against the band
  • Squat down and hold position 10 seconds, repeat 10 times

Lunge with Gluteal Activation

Fire Hydrant

  • Wrap band around your knees
  • Get on hands and knees
  • Reach your knee back and out against the band resistance
  • Hold 10 seconds and repeat 10 times

Fire Hydrant

  

Hip strengthening is important for injury prevention, recovery, and sports performance.  It is important to strengthen the entire area for powerful hips.  Keep your work out creative by switching up your routine and trying new exercises. 

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Related Article: 5 Hip Exercises For Prevention And Performance 

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