Having strong and stable hips is extremely important. We require hip stability for all standing activities, even just walking or running, and weak hips can set us up for pain and injuries along the way. Unfortunately, because most of us spend too much time sitting down, the muscles surrounding our hips are often weak and need strengthening through targeted exercises. You can try the four exercises below to strengthen your hips!
Standing hip abductions
Stand straight holding on to the back of a chair with one hand. Extend the leg facing away from the chair out to the side as far as you can without moving your upper body. Hold it in the extended position for a few seconds and then slowly move it back towards the standing leg. Make sure you move slowly and with control. Do 10-15 repetitions for each leg.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip width apart and flat on the floor. Brace your core and push your backside up until you form a straight line from knee to shoulder. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly move back down until your back almost touches the floor. Don’t transfer your weight back to the floor though; your muscles should keep working! Move slowly and with control and do 10-15 repetitions.
Adductor ball squeezes + core stability
Lie on your back with your legs up and knees bent (right angles in hip and knees). Place a pilates ball (or a thick pillow) between your thighs and SQUEEZE the ball or pillow throughout the whole exercise to work your inner thigh muscles. Brace your core and make sure your lower back maintains contact to the floor throughout the exercise. Lower your legs (while keeping the right angle in the knees and while squeezing the ball) as far as you can while keeping your back on the floor. Don’t let your feet rest on the floor at any point. Then slowly move your legs back up, and do 10-15 slow and controlled repetitions.
If the lowering of the legs is too difficult, you can just squeeze the ball in the top position (15-20 slow and controlled squeezes).
Hip flexor marches + core stability
Start lying on your back with your legs up and right angles in hip and knees. Brace your core and slowly lower only one leg (while keeping the right angle in the knee) as far as you can while keeping your whole back on the floor. Then, slowly come back to the starting position and start lowering the other leg. Do 20-30 slow and controlled repetitions in total (10-15 repetitions for each leg).
Let me know if you found these helpful!