Exercises to Strengthen Your Hips

06 September, 2020
Although certain muscles seem to always claim the attention when it's time to do a routine, we can't forget the importance of other areas. How can we strengthen our hips?
 

Beginning an exercise routine is important, and it’s one of the most recommended steps to forge a healthy lifestyle. Despite that, usually, when we talk about an exercise routine, we have in mind that we’re going to strengthen certain parts of the body. This usually includes the arms, abs, and legs. Is strengthening the hips not important?

This question might have circled your thoughts a few times when you’re about to begin an exercise, or maybe it never has. However, every area of the body, including muscles and joints, need to be taken into consideration in any serious training plan.

Based on this information, and with a special emphasis on the hip joints, we’re going to show you some exercises that are great for working out this zone. Add them to your routine!

Why strengthen your hips?

The hips are one of the largest and most important joints in the human body. Also known as the coxofemoral joint, it gets its name from the union of the coxal bone in the pelvis and the head of the femur.

The hip joint is located near the torso and is one of the most stable joints in the human body, thanks to the muscles and ligaments that surround it.

It’s important to keep your hip joints strong because of their location and their importance. Working this area can help to prevent injuries and increase your overall balance. Having a strong hip joint can help take some of the stress off of your knee joints and can decrease pains in the lumbar area.

 

In addition to that, it can help an athlete’s performance. When their hip joints are stronger, it increases their force and strength in their upper extremities.

Exercises to strengthen your hips

To truly take advantage of these benefits, we’ll show you a series of exercises that are great for strengthening the muscular zones around the hips. Take note!

Hip lifts

Hip lifts are the exercise also known as a glute bridge, thanks to its efficacy in working the posterior muscle zones of the body. In addition, it can also strengthen hamstrings, abdominal muscles, and hip flexors. 

Woman works glutes and hips

To do a hip lift, lay down flat on your back on a comfortable spot on the floor. Lay your arms by your sides with your hands down, supporting your weight. With the soles of your feet on the ground and your legs bent, flex your legs. From there, raise up your hips, trying to keep your shoulders in line with your knees. It’s recommended to do 4 sets of 12 repetitions.

Squats

When we talk about squats, we’re talking about the most important exercise out there to help strengthen your legs. However, it’s a little less well known that regularly doing squats can also help you to strengthen your hips. This is because the muscles involved in squats are the hips flexors and extensors, in addition to the lumbar and glutes.

 
Older man does squats

To do a proper squat, you need to be standing straight, with the feet shoulder-width distance apart. Then, flex your hips and legs, lowering your glutes slowly down until they are parallel with the floor. Then, slowly raise back up to your starting position. The ideal is to do 5 sets of 12 repetitions.

Hip adductions

It’s highly recommended to include hips adductions in your exercise routine. They not only strengthen the hip joint but also increase your balance. Hip adduction centers on the strengthening of the muscles in the hip area, the adductors, that increase the stability of the joint.

To do this exercise, you’ll need an elastic band and a base that weighs more than you do. Once you’ve found these items, place one section of the band around one of the legs of your base, and the other section of the band around your leg, assuring that it is at ankle-height.

 

Next, stand straight up with your legs shoulder-width distance apart. The leg with the band around it should be closest to your base. Using your leg strength, slowly move the band away from the base. Do this 12 times for 4 sets.

Strengthening your hips

The human body functions as one big whole. This means that the best way to strengthen your body is to try to strengthen every part. A clear example of this is the importance of strengthening the hip muscles. By working on your hips, you’re also strengthening the muscle group around them- such as the lumbar zone, the dorsal muscles, and abdominals, among others.

To put it another way, working on your core, your legs, and back will also work to strengthen your hips in an indirect way. 

Last but not least, visit a health professional frequently so that they can evaluate the state of your hips from a physiological level. This can be a great check-in to see how it’s doing in terms of both strength and stability. You’ll see the benefits in your everyday life.

 
  • Marín-Peña, O., Fernández-Tormos, E., Dantas, P., Rego, P., & Pérez-Carro, L. (2016). Anatomía y función de la articulación coxofemoral. Anatomía artroscópica de la cadera. Revista Española de Artroscopia y Cirugía Articular. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reaca.2016.02.001
  • Cronin, J. Keogh, J. Presswood, L. Whatman, C. (2008). Glúteo medio: Anatomía aplicada, disfunción, valoración y fortalecimiento progresivo. Strength and Conditioning Journal.
  • Araya, R., & Castro, D. (2011). Activación del músculo glúteo medio y tensor de la fascia Lata en los ejercicios wallbanger y pelvic drop. Repositorio Universidad De Chile.