Tips for improving hip strength

Are you experiencing hip pain or weakness that’s making it difficult to participate in sports or go about daily life? If so, you can read the following guide to discover tips for improving hip strength. We also discuss some common causes of hip weakness so that you can get ahead of the problem or learn what’s currently causing the issue.

What Causes Hip Weakness?

Patients may experience hip weakness for various reasons. One common cause is a lack of exercise. When you don’t participate in physical activity like strength training regularly, you may experience muscle atrophy of the hip flexors. Similarly, sitting for long periods at a time may also cause hip weakness. Office workers commonly experience gluteus medius tendinosis, which doctors also refer to as gluteal amnesia. This condition is a combination of tight hip flexors and a weakened gluteus medius, which causes the hips to hurt or feel weak.

Patients may experience compromised hip strength as a result of more severe medical conditions. For example, osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that pillows the hip joints deteriorates. Hip weakness may also result after certain spine surgeries, or it may occur due to the presence of musculoskeletal disorders.

Patients with more severe conditions can discuss pain and weakness management plans with their physicians. Otherwise, if your hip pain or weakness is a result of an acute injury or a lack of physical activity, you may try the following tips for alleviating pain and improving strength.

Mountain Climbers With Floor Sliders

This exercise for improving hip strength requires the use of floor sliders, which are small pads that help a person move their feet across a surface without friction. If you don’t have floor sliders, you may consider wearing socks and performing this exercise on laminate or tile flooring.

Begin by getting into a plank position on your hands rather than your elbows. If you have floor sliders, place one under each foot. Ensure that the slider is on the ball of your foot. Ask someone to put the sliders into place if you’re having trouble with the placement. Alternatively, you can omit the placement of sliders and wear socks.

Start the exercise by bringing your left knee up to your chest. Keep your feet on the ground for the entire duration of this exercise. The slider or sock will help you move your foot on the floor. Once you bring your left knee as close to your chest as possible, return your left foot to its starting position.

Next, bring your right knee as close to your chest as possible. Continue alternating each knee for 10 repetitions on each side. Repeat this routine two to three times. You should feel your hamstrings and quadriceps activate, both of which can contribute to increased hip strength when you perform this exercise regularly.

Leg Raises

Leg raises are an effective exercise that can help improve strength in your hip muscles. Begin by lying down on the left side of your body. Prop up your upper body using your left elbow. Keep your left leg on the ground and raise your right leg away from your left leg. Keep your hips facing forward, and don’t rotate them.

Keep your right leg in the air for five seconds, squeezing your gluteus muscles. Lower your left leg slowly. Repeat this motion ten times. Switch to lying on your right side, and repeat the same movements and number of repetitions with your left leg.

If this exercise is too easy, consider adding ankle weights for an extra challenge. Begin with a 2.5-pound ankle weight, and attach it to the leg that you’re raising. You may upgrade to a heavier ankle weight, like a 5-pound ankle weight, when you feel that the 2.5-pound option is too easy. Ensure that you strap the ankle weight snugly so that it remains in place but not so tightly that it affects the circulation to your feet.

Butterfly Pose

The butterfly pose is a common yoga move, and it can contribute to hip strength by stretching your hips and promoting blood circulation. Begin by sitting on the floor. Place a cushion or towel underneath your pelvis to provide extra support if you’re sitting on a hard floor. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet can touch one another. Use your elbows to press your knees to the floor. Perform this stretch with control so that you don’t overstretch your hip flexors. Hold the position for 30 seconds. If possible, try to maintain the position for one minute once you get accustomed to it.

If you want to experience a deeper stretch that can lead to greater hip strength in the future, pull your ankles closer to your body. You may notice a better stretch and a greater release of tension.

This exercise may be challenging at first, especially if you don’t work out your legs and hips regularly. If you feel sharp pain and discomfort in your hips, don’t proceed with the exercise. Instead, you can contact the physicians at Orthopedic Specialists of North Texas. We’ll diagnose the cause of your hip pain and create an effective treatment plan to prevent further damage and help you resume your normal activities.

Seated Marching

Seated marching helps you improve strength in your thigh and hip muscles, which can result in decreased hip pain overall. Begin by sitting on the edge of a chair. If possible, try to choose a chair without arms so that you don’t have anything that could inhibit your movement.

Place both of your feet flat on the floor and keep your knees bent. Lift your right knee as high as possible while still keeping it bent. When you reach the highest possible point, lower your knee back to the ground slowly. You can perform 10 to 12 repetitions in a row with your right knee. Then, switch to lifting your left knee in the air. Perform the same number of repetitions on the left side. Increase the number of repetitions you perform as you gain strength.

While these tips can offer relief to minor hip pain and weakness, it’s important for you to enlist an experienced orthopedist to help you manage more serious conditions. If you’re experiencing hip pain, contact our team at Orthopedic Specialists of North Texas. We’ll have a board-certified physician meet with you to listen to your symptoms and diagnose your condition. From there, we’ll develop a tailored treatment plan so that we can help you resume your desired level of activity.


Yoga‘ by Dave Rosenblum is licensed under CC BY 2.0