Doing even small amounts of exercise regularly, using the proper form, can help keep your hips strong and flexible, along with helping to prevent injury. Check out these ideas and stretching exercises to achieve that healthy range of motion in your hips.
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#1 – Look at Posture and Alignment
When we move out of the ideal body alignment, we put greater stress on the joints, spine, and vertebrae. Low-level stress for a long period of time will irritate the hips, puts stress on different points to the hips, and it can lead to irritation, injury, and pain. Great body alignment leads to a perfect balance in the body, which will be a big help to your hips.
#2 – Rethink About Your Exercise Activity and Nutrition
If you’re just focusing on one type of exercise, look at trying to add different types of modalities and exercises to your routine like flexibility and mobility work or strengthening and activation work. Mobility work is not just increasing the movement in the joints above and below the hip, but also at the hip. Flexibility work includes stretching.
Other things also include working on activation and endurance in your core, pelvic and shoulder blade area. Also, look at reinforcing those main movements that your body does and work on strength. When your muscles are activated properly and your strength is improved, that will solve a lot of hip-related issues.
#3 – Look for Specific Strengthening Exercises for Your Hips
#3a – Hip Bridge
Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides, relaxing your upper body. Engage your abdominal muscles and push from your heels to lift your hips, holding this position for 5 seconds. Lower your hips down and repeat the movement.
Start with one set of 5 repetitions, holding for 5 seconds. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good hold at the end position. The intensity is light. The purpose of this exercise is to activate the muscles around the core and to target the glutes and hamstrings.
#3b – Planks
Start in a four-point position, with your knees below your hips and your hands beneath your shoulders. Move into a forearm plank position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and toes. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat the movement.
Start with one set of 5 repetitions, holding for 5 seconds. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good hold at the end position. The intensity is light. The purpose of this exercise is to activate the core area, including the glutes and hamstrings.
#3c – Split Squats
Begin in an upright standing position, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Take a big step back with one leg and lower your back knee to the ground. Raise and repeat the movement.
Start with one set of 5 repetitions on each side. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end position. The intensity is light. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the muscles around the knee, glutes and hamstrings area.
#3d – Step-ups
Stand upright on the bottom step of your stairs or any other stable elevated surface, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Engage your core and tighten your glutes. Step up with one leg, following with your other leg. Step down, leading with the same leg to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement.
Start with one set of 5 repetitions on each side. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end position. The intensity is light. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the muscles around the knee, glutes and hip area.
#4 – Looking at Your Sleeping Position
Some people have issues lying on their sides. Some get irritation in the bottom hip that they are sleeping on. What you can do to relieve the pain is to roll over and sleep on your back. You can also put a pillow or rolled blanket underneath to give you more support and cushioning to relieve that irritation spot. If you want, you may also check if your mattress is the issue.
Sometimes, we lie on our sides, where our knees are on top of each other. This might also irritate or bother our hips. We recommend you put a pillow between your knees so that your top leg is in proper alignment with your body. You can play around with the different types of pillows you have based on your comfort.
#5 – Heat or Ice
If you have pain in the hip area, icing will help when it comes to numbing that area, assisting with pain and decreasing the inflammation around that joint. You can use ice cubes or frozen goods for your cold compress.
Heat, on the other hand, will help in loosening up the tissues around the hip, specifically the muscles. You can use a hot water bottle or taking a hot shower may also be nice.
The gluteus muscles are essential for healthy hips. For the best exercises to strengthen your gluteus maximus, make sure to check out The Best Gluteus Maximus Exercises, here!