One of the most commonly injured or to feel pain in our body would be the hip. It’s no wonder since it is a major weight-bearing joint in the body and responsible for many functional activities such as walking, running, sitting, and standing. For runners, their weak points would be the hip area. If you love running, your hip flexors will be tight, and your glutes and smaller stabilizing muscles are weak. Such weakness can lead to Patellofemoral pain syndrome or what we have featured in the last articles as Runner’s knee.
By keeping your hips strong and mobile, hip pain can quickly be eliminated and you can return to normal activity. We prepared some basic Hip strengthening exercises to help keep your hips strong and mobile. Remember to check with your doctor, physical therapist to ensure that you are healthy enough to exercise your hip or leg.
Lateral Band Walks
You’ll be needing a resistance band with the right strength to do these exercises properly. This movement focuses on core engagement, symmetry, and neuromuscular patterning
Place the band just above each ankle and wrapped around both legs.
Next, position your feet at a shoulder-width apart. The band should be tight but not stretched.
Bend your knees slightly and move into a half-squat position in order to activate the gluteus medius muscle.
While keeping your feet in line with your shoulders, face forward with your body weight evenly distributed over both feet.
Then, shift your weight over one leg and take a step sideways with the other leg while maintaining the half-squat position. Move this leg in and out, sideways for at least 8 repetitions.
Make sure to keep your hips level during your movement and not to bounce up and down.
Finally, slowly shift your weight and switch legs, and perform another 8 steps.
Resisted Knee Drive
The Resisted Knee Drive is a great exercise for any athlete who wants to increase hip flexor and hamstring strength Strengthening these two muscles and teaching them to work together also increases speed by developing a powerful knee drive.
Attach the cable to your shoe just above the laces
Assume a push-up position with your hands on the bench. Keep your core tight to maintain a straight line with your body.
Explosively drive your knee to your chest. Make sure to drive your knee quickly
Next, slowly return your leg to starting position and perform the set with the opposite leg, but make sure to return to your starting position slowly.
Repeat the steps at least 8 times on each leg. You can also use weights that will allow proper form and speed.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
This exercise targets muscle groups throughout your body like the hamstrings, hip flexors, lower back muscles, and gluteal muscles—including your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
Lie faceup on the mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor and arms resting at sides.
Next, extend your right leg straight out keeping both of your knees in line. Press through your left heel to lift your hips up toward the ceiling then slowly lower back down.
Complete about 10 reps then repeat on the other leg.
Do this every day with the guide of your Physical Therapist and you’ll see changes in your physical strength. You can also call us or send us a message if you want to learn more about Hip-Strengthening Programs.