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Five Hip Strengthening Exercises

Jun 11, 2015

Strengthening your hips can help to relieve any hip pain you may be experiencing while also building up muscle to prevent future injuries from occurring. Workouts for your hips can help to improve your flexibility as well as your range of motion.

Athletes can also greatly benefit from hip strengthening exercises. When your hips are weak, it causes instability in your knees and your ankles when you’re running. This can lead to many injuries, and the most common injuries that result from weak hips include illiotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome, or other injuries such as tendinopathy, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.

The following muscles play important roles in hip movement: gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and tensor fascia lata (TFL). The gluteus medius is the main abductor and external rotator of the hip, while the gluteus maximus extends the hip and assists with abduction and external rotation. The TFL is an abductor and can help with internal rotation. Hip strengthening exercises will focus on working these muscles.

Learn more about hip exercises that will strengthen your hips, making your body stronger and more stable.

Straight Leg Raise

Lay on your back with one leg straight and one leg bent, then slowly lift your leg straight to a 45 degree angle, keeping your knee and toes facing the ceiling.

Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times.


Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Slowly lift your gluteus maximus by pushing through your feet so your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. Be careful not to arch your back, as this will decrease the effectiveness of the workout. Tighten your gluteals as you hold this position for three seconds and repeat 10 times.

Hip Flexion

Stand at a bench or table for balance. Slowly lift your knee as high as it goes while keeping your back straight and tightening the muscles in the front of your hips. Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times.

Lying Hip Extension

Start by lying flat on your stomach. Slowly lift your leg while keeping your knee straight and tightening your gluteals. Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times.

Standing Hip Abduction

Stand at a bench or table for balance. Keeping your back and knee straight and your foot facing forward, slowly lift your leg to the side while tightening the muscles at the side of your thigh. Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times.

If you perform these exercises daily or three to five times per day, you’ll find that the targeted muscles will get stronger and your legs will feel more stable. If you begin to experience pain at any point during a workout, stop exercising. You don’t want to further injure yourself.

Premier Orthopaedics is dedicated to providing quality care to patients and helping them get back to their daily lives. If you’re considering surgery for your hip pain, download our e-book, Your How-To Guide to Choosing an Orthopaedic Surgeon.