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Hip Pain Exercises

Hip Pain Exercises

Hip pain exercises can be effective at providing relief for a variety of hip conditions. Hip pain can arise either from the effects of sitting all day or from a chronic health condition, such as bursitis or arthritis. Being a common concern, hip pain affects mobility and decreases the strength of the hip muscles, thus limiting your ability to run or walk normally. If not treated properly, it may cause disability [1].

Physiotherapy exercises, including stretching, can help relieve hip pain by building strength in muscles around the hip joint and improving flexibility and balance. Hip pain exercises also pain relief with very little effort.

What Are The Causes Of Hip Pain?

Hip pain occurs as a result of problems arising in muscles, ligaments, and tendons that surround the hip joint. People with hip pain feel the pain in the upper thigh, groin, and outer hip. In some cases, hip pain may also be the result of ageing. The following are some common causes of hip pain:

  • Fracture or trauma
  • Sciatica
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Labrum tear
  • Bursitis
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome [2].

The following are some symptoms associated with:

  • Lateral hip pain
  • Difficulty walking, climbing stairs, or running
  • Lower back pain
  • Buttock pain
  • Difficulty moving the leg or hip
  • Pain in the front of the hip
  • Pain in the groin region

How To Do Hip Pain Exercises

Since it is a ball and socket joint, the hip should ideally move through rotation, abduction, flexion, and extension. The muscles, ligaments, or the hip joint itself can be compressed by the tightness in nearby structures around the hip joint, leading to hip pain.

Stretching and hip pain exercises can help relieve the tension accumulated within the muscles and ligaments of the hip region. Stretching allows the hip joint to move entirely that was previously tightened due to increased pressure or decreased mobility [3].

Since muscle activation around the hips is also decreased due to hip pain, hip pain exercises improve muscle activation, take pressure off hip muscles, relieve pain, and improve the overall functional ability of the hip joint [4].

There are millions of hip pain exercises that you can do daily at home to alleviate mild hip pain. But if the pain feels chronic and lasting, make sure to visit a physical therapist. In such cases, exercises should be performed with utmost care and under your doctor’s guidelines. Otherwise, there are high chances of muscle and tissue injuries.

5 Hip Pain Exercises

Exercises help benefit a number of people suffering from hip pain. However, before starting physical therapy consult a physiotherapist to avoid any complications. They can examine your condition and recommend the most appropriate training for you.

The majority of the exercises comprises flexion, extension, abduction and adduction, as these allow your hip mobility and ease the discomfort.

1. Hip Extension: 

Hip extensions benefit people who cannot get up from a chair or struggle with running due to intense hip pain. These allow the hip muscles to strengthen and alleviate their tightness.

Here’s how you can perform this exercise;

  • Stand with your back straight and hold onto a piece of furniture like a chair or a wooden table.
  • Balance your body by extending both your legs and arms right in front of you.
  • Raise your left leg in a backward direction and make sure not to bend your knee, and keep your right leg ahead.
  • Raise your leg as high as it can go without creating any pain, tighten your buttocks and stay in this position for almost six seconds.

2. Hip Flexion: 

The hip flexors allow bending of the trunk region of the body forward towards the hip area. But with hip pain, this movement is restricted. Hip flexion helps eliminate this restriction and enhances the flexibility of these flexors.

Here’s how you can perform this exercise;

  • Maintain a straight posture and stretch your arm forward to grasp a solid piece of matter like a chair or wall for support.
  • Bend and lift your right knee to your hip level as much as possible and keep your left leg up.
  • Stay in this position for a few seconds and shift to the other knee.
  • Repeat this exercise 6-12 times.

3. Hip Abduction: 

Hip abductors allow side movement of the legs away from the body’s midline. With hip abduction exercises, you can restore hip’s mobility and functionality.

Here’s how you can perform this exercise;

  • Stand with a straight posture as a starting position.
  • Grab a steady object like a wall or a table by extending your arm.
  • Raise your one leg to the following side without rotating your hips.
  • Stay in this position of 6 seconds and now shift to the other leg.
  • Repeat this 6-12 times.

4. External Hip Rotation:

The external hip rotation consists of both the thigh and knee moving away from the hips. With frequent external hip rotations, the hip muscles will strengthen and will ease from the tightness.

Here’s how you can perform this exercise;

  • Sit on the ground with your legs outstretched in front of you. Keep the back of your thigh on a towel.
  • Bend your legs towards each other at the knee region and press your feet’ soles together.
  • Apply gentle pressure by placing your hands on both your respective knees.
  • Stay in this position for about 6 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise 6-12 times.

5. Hip And Lower Back Stretch: 

Tightened hip muscles, tendons and tissues can be strengthened and loosened with this hip pain exercise by a great deal. This stretch enables your hip muscles to lose the tension that is the cause of the lying pain.

Here’s how you can perform this stretch;

  • Lay flat on your back with your knees bent inwards.
  • Breathe in and out slowly while pulling your knees closer with each breath.
  • Stretch as much as you can go, don’t force your body.
  • Stay in this position for about 20 seconds. Follow 5-10 repetitions in each session.


Other ways to heal your hip instead of hip pain exercises


The structures in left knee and around the hip have a poor blood supply, which is why they can struggle to heal on their own. It is the oxygen and nutrients in our blood supply that help to heal these structures.

Prolotherapy involves the injection of a regenerative solution into these structures to provide a direct supply of what is required to heal and repair.

As the treatment is helping to treat the root cause of the problem, it is deemed to be a permanent fix.

Conclusion about hip pain exercises

Hip pain can limit one’s upper body and movements to a great extent. With the above-enlisted hip pain exercises, you can strengthen your hip tissues, strengthen the muscles and relieve the tension. Some other exercises such as quadriceps stretch and hamstring stretch are also very beneficial in treating hip pain and are every effective strengthening exercise. As a beginner, always start with the most comfortable and easy exercises, instead of jumping right into the toughest ones. If you experience knee pain during exercises, take a break and lower the workout intensity.

But it is essential to consult a healthcare professional or a physiotherapist to get medical advice before incorporating these exercises into your routine if you’ve had hip replacement surgery.

A physiotherapist can help people with severe joint pain by creating an exercise program tailored to their specific needs and problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is walking good for hip pain?

Any exercise that puts pressure on the the hip flexor joint is not good for hip pain. As walking puts no pressure on the hip joint and is a low-impact exercise, it is ideal for a person with hip pain. It also burns calories and activates the hip muscles and hip joints gradually.

What are the first signs of hip problems?

Several signs indicate problems related to hips. The first and foremost sign that gets attention is pain. The pain may occur in the left hip and the groin region. Others include

  • Limping
  • Not able to stand or sit for a more extended period
  • Stiffness
  • Locking
  • Trouble walking up the stairs

What does arthritis in the hip feel like?

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, so the first thing that a person feels is pain. In light of the harm to the ligament, individuals with joint pain might feel like their hip is firm and their movement of right foot is restricted. In some cases, individuals feel a getting or clicking inside the hip. The aggravation typically deteriorates when the hip joint is stressed by strolling significant distances, standing quite a while, or climbing steps.

Does hip Arthritis show up on an X-ray?

Yes, an X-ray of the hip joint can help diagnose hip arthritis. X-rays of a ligament hip might show a restricting of the joint space, changes in the bone, and the development of bone prods (osteophytes). In the X-rays of an ordinary hip, the space between the ball and attachment demonstrates sound ligament, while the X-rays of a ligament show severe loss of joint space.

What is the best exercise for hip pain?

The best exercise for hip pain is walking, which does not put pressure on the hip joint. Avoid exercises involving repetitive hip flexion, the motion involving bringing your hip or your leg straight up toward your chest. If doing squats, keep them shallow and hold off on lunges entirely until you receive a diagnosis from your doctor. Do not work through the pain. When walking or running, pay attention to pain.

Should I exercise if my hip hurts?

On the off chance that you have hip pain, you ought to exercise. Exercising works on the strength and adaptability of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in and around your hips. This works on your body’s underlying scaffolding for the hips and their scope of movement.


  1. Wilson J, Furukawa M. Evaluation of the Patient with Hip Pain – American Family Physician. Am Fam Physician 2014:27-34.
  2. Bedi A, Dolan M, Leunig M, Kelly BT. Static and Dynamic Mechanical Causes of Hip Pain. Arthrosc J Arthrosc Relat Surg 2011;27:235–51. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2010.07.022.
  3. Hammer AM, Hammer RL, Lomond K V, O’Connor P. Acute changes of hip joint range of motion using selected clinical stretching procedures: A randomized crossover study. Musculoskelet Sci Pract 2017;32:70–7. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2017.08.011.
  4. Hernández-Molina G, Reichenbach S, Zhang B, Lavalley M, Felson DT. Effect of therapeutic exercise for hip osteoarthritis pain: Results of a meta-analysis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2008;59:1221–8. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1002/art.24010.

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