strengthen your hips

3 Things to do to Strengthen Your Hips

  • Side-lying leg raises

This exercise strengthens your hip pain abductors, which are important muscles that help you walk correctly.  When stepping forward with your right foot, the abductors on your left prevents your body weight from falling over to the right.  The abductors on the right do the same when stepping forward with your left foot.  To do this exercise, lie on your side with one hip directly over the other.  Lift your top leg towards the ceiling while keeping your foot flat (do not let your toes turn and point up towards the ceiling).  Once you can easily do 15 using the correct technique, you can progress these exercises by adding ankle weights.  This exercise can also be performed in standing if you have an elastic band.  Walk sideways with the band around your ankles being sure to keep your toes pointing forwards throughout.    

  • Bridge

This exercise helps strengthen your gluteus maximus and hamstrings, which are important muscles to “extend” your hip (bring your leg backward).  Start by lying on your back with your arms by your sides.  Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart.  Pushing mostly through your heels, lift your hips towards the ceiling.  If this is too easy, begin doing the same motion using only one leg.  Be sure to keep your hips even, don’t allow your pelvis to be higher on one side compared to the other.    

  • Mountain Climbers

Your hip flexors are muscles that bring your leg forward and play an important role in helping you advance your feet while walking, running, etc.  Mountain climbers can be done a number of ways, with a yoga ball, with sliders, or without any equipment.  Start on your hands and feet in the top part of a push-up position.  Bring one knee up to your chest, then return to the starting position.  Next, bring the opposite knee to your chest, return to the starting position, and repeat.  If on a hardwood or tile floor, you can put sliders or hand towels under your toes and slide your feet along to floor as you do this exercise.  Begin slowly, then pick up the pace.  Use a timer and see how many you can do in 30 seconds, then 45 seconds, then a minute.

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