The hips are one of those body parts that most of us don't really think about until they're bothering us. When you hit the gym, strengthening your hip muscles specifically probably isn't high on the agenda. But if you're someone who spends most days sitting (cyclists), you're likely familiar with that hip ache and tightness that comes along with it. Maybe you've even started doing some hip stretches to combat that. But actually strengthening the hip area is something that will not only make you feel better, but help you move better, too.
Quick anatomy lesson. When we talk about the hips, we're talking about any muscle that crosses over the hip joint, says Laura Miranda D.P.T., M.S.P.T., C.S.C.S., a New York City-based trainer and creator of the Pursuit training program. Which, there are many, including all of the glute muscles, the hamstrings, the inner thigh muscles, and the psoas muscles (deep core muscles that attach your pelvis to your spine). Each of these muscles has some specific roles, but overall, the hip muscles stabilize your pelvis and thighbone as you move. They also allow you to bend at the hips, lift your legs out to the side (abduct), and bring your legs back in toward one another (adduct). Basically, they do a lot, and when they're weak or tight or otherwise not working in an optimal way, you can not only end up with cranky hips, but other body parts may overcompensate and take on too much work—leaving you with other, seemingly unrelated, issues, like knee pain.
Most functional exercises—ones that mimic everyday movements such as squats, hip hinges (deadlifts, for example), lunges, steps-ups—stretch and strengthen your hip muscles in some way. So if you strength train and do a variety of these sorts of movements, you're probably working these important muscles without even realizing it. On the other hand, if you mostly focus on exercise methods that have you doing the same movement over and over again, like running or cycling, there's a good chance your hips aren't as strong as they should be. And that can have a negative impact on not only your workouts, but how you move through life in general.
Hip strength, stability, mobility, & all around health starts right here. This video shows 7 exercises from beginner to intermediate level to start gaining real life strength in and around your hips....
These Hip Strengthening exercises start with isolated glute activation exercises including the single leg bridge, glute bridge march, banded clamshell, and sidling leg lift. These exercises strengthen the glute max and glute medius muscles targeting the back and lateral hip. Next we move to more integrative movements starting with the single leg romanian deadlift and single leg good morning which train single leg stability as well as hip hinge strength. These exercises also train the hamstring and spine mobility as well. Next is the split Squat which builds strength in the quads and glutes through hip extension and knee flexion. Last is the Goblet Squat which integrates everything into one fluid motion and uses the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. These are MUST DO hip strength and stability exercises for hip strength and hip mobility. This is an excellent hip strength workout for runners, cyclists, crossfit, and other athletes.Hip stability drills like these will only build your hips and allow you to do the ultimate goal which is to squat deeper and stronger.