When it comes to fitness, strengthening hips are probably not high on your agenda. And often enough, the hips aren’t a part of the body that we really think about until they start to bother us.
However, your hips are the largest ball-and-socket joints in your body, and the muscles surrounding it are crucial for supporting your pelvis and core. They are needed to build a strong foundation for bodily movement and function.
However, if these muscles are tight, it weakens the foundation. The body then has to compensate to adjust for the deficit, often causing injury and a host of other problems.
Keep reading to discover the different muscles that contribute to hip health, the benefits of strengthening them, and the exercises and workouts you can do from home that will help you, not only protect this important part of your body but also meet your health and fitness goals.
Hips Don’t Lie
There are over twenty muscles across the hip and pelvis that make movement possible. These hip muscles are broken down into five main groups based on their function:
- Hip Flexors
- Hip Extensors
- Hip Adductor
- Hip Abductor
These muscle groups work together to allow your body to movements and activities vital to your everyday life. Walking, running, jumping, sitting, climbing stairs, bending over, and even just standing all require the strength of these various muscles.
Have you ever noticed the feeling of tightness in your hips or lower back after a prolonged period of inactivity?
The hip muscles need to be extended and stretched regularly to keep them flexible and functioning the way they should. Spending a lot of time sitting in front of a computer or in a car for your daily commute will cause these muscles to get weak and tight, often causing pain or discomfort.
Tight hips can negatively impact your posture and the way you walk can put unnecessary stress on your back and knees, and can cause injury.
Benefits of Hip Exercises
Exercises that stretch and strengthen the hip muscles are important to keeping your body moving and grooving. They specifically:
- Enhance core stability, balance, and posture
- Increase flexibility
- Increase circulation
- Allows you to perform daily and life-giving activities such as walking, running, dancing, jumping, even standing with ease and without pain
- Reduces the risk of other injuries1
The Arthritis Foundation says that exercise is important for keeping your hips functional and free of pain.2
9 Workouts that Focus on Hip Health
Practicing Pietra Fitness is a great way to keep the muscles in your body healthy. Here are nine workouts from Pietra Fitness that specifically target the muscles surrounding your hips helping to relieve discomfort, decrease tightness, and increase mobility.
Focus: Hip Flexor Strengthener
Do you have poor posture, tightness or soreness in your lower back or hips, or pain in your neck or glutes? Tight hip flexors may be the source of your discomfort. This 25-minute workout includes exercises that will stretch and strengthen not only your hip flexors but also your back, glutes, and core which are all essential for loosening your muscles, increasing your range of motion, improving your posture, and preventing injuries.
Set to peaceful music, this 43-minute class incorporates postures and exercises that will lightly stretch and strengthen the muscles in your entire body, including your hip flexors, leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
3. Sedentary Rx
Focus: Back and Hips Body
Sitting at a desk, in front of a computer, or in the car for extended periods of time day after day can cause the muscles and tendons in your back and hips to become tight and sore. Sedentary Rx is a soothing remedy. By targeting these tense areas, this 42-minute workout will not only open up your back, neck, shoulders, chest, hips, and inner thighs but also make them stronger.
Focus: Morning Stretch Body
This short 18-minute class is a quick way to prepare your body, mind, and soul for the day through exercise and prayer. You will begin Sunrise Stretch in a cross-legged seated position, working on your breath and thanking God for the gift of today. Through a series of twists, side bends, arm circles, and more, you will loosen up your neck, shoulders, back, and hips.
Focus: Hips Body
Release tension in your hips and increase your range of motion with this 29-minute workout. You will flow through three separate series of lunges that will challenge your balance and work your entire body as your move from planks and chest lifts to lunges and other poses—sinking lower into the positions for a deeper hip stretch.
Focus: Hips Body
The stretching and strengthening exercises in Lent: Hip-Top Shape are one way to restore joint mobility, keep your hips strong, and relieve hip pain. This 33-minute video will help you workout your hip joints, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and inner thighs, allowing you to walk, run, or maybe even skip—into the rest of the day.
Focus: Restorative Body
Because of the natural, everyday wear and tear on our bodies, we can all benefit from restorative workouts like TOB: Restorative. This 27-minute workout includes a series of gentle movements and stretches that will help release tension in your body and increase circulation.
Focus: Angle Pose/Side Body
Is tightness or pain in your back preventing you from doing everyday activities? Increase your spinal mobility and get your body feeling better with this calming 30-minute class. If you have tight hips and hamstrings, you will really enjoy the exercises that stretch these joints and muscles.
Stretch and strengthen your hips and hip flexors with this 42-minute workout. You’ll flow through postures and exercises like hip circles, pike split, low lunge, squats, elevated chest lift on toes, lunges, open arabesque, standing linked backbend, and more that not only target your hips but also work your entire body from head to foot.
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