Our outer hip muscles play a key role in stabilizing the pelvis, lower back, and knees. Strengthen your hips with these two hip exercises.
The human body is an intricate system of processes that work synergistically. Much like a work of art whose composition must be balanced to be pleasing to the eye, our muscles need to be in equilibrium to reach maximum potential.
Imbalances lead to a loss of flexibility, decreased energy and strength in the muscles, and eventually, pain and discomfort.
While many muscles help to maintain equilibrium, one group in particular needs our attention–the outer hip muscles.
The three outer hip muscles, also known as the hip abductors, are responsible for moving the leg out and away from the centre of the body, and they play a key role in stabilizing the pelvis, lower back, and knees.
Strong hip abductors can help prevent IT band syndrome (inflammation of the iliotibial band, the thick band of tissue that runs down the outside of the leg); bursitis or osteoarthritis of the hip; and pain in the patellofemora (under and around the kneecap) and in the lower back.
Try the following exercises two to three times a week to not only strengthen your hips, but to aid in maintaining a fit, balanced, and injury-free you. Do two to three sets of each exercise with a 30-second rest between each set.
Clamshells With Leg Lift
- Lie on your side against a wall. Bend your knees so that they are forward of the body and at right angles to the body.
- Keeping feet stacked one on top of the other, tighten tummy and, without moving your pelvis, lift the top knee up and down.
- After 20 repetitions, straighten both legs, slide your body back and press the entire length of your body into the wall.
- Lift your straightened top leg up and down 20 times. Keep contact with both of your heels against the wall throughout the entire set. Repeat on other side.
X Walks With Tubing
For this exercise you need a length of exercise tubing with handles (or use a resistance band).
Step on the tubing with both feet and criss-cross the handles, holding one in each hand.
Pull shoulder blades back, stand tall, and tighten tummy muscles.
Keeping knees pointing straight ahead, step to the side 15 to 20 times in one direction, then step 15 to 20 times back the other way.
What do You do If You Already Have Hip Pain?
First, seek the advice of a physiotherapist and then slowly add these movements into your regular workouts