Doing hip mobility exercises is super important for lower-body joint health, injury prevention and for staying active well into your golden years.
Your hips are complex joints which are supported and stabilized by a large group of muscles that include the adductor, iliopsoas and gluteal muscles.
Weak hips are often the cause of knee and lower back problems. But keeping these muscles strong and flexible is the best way to ensure long-term hip health.
Here I want to show you some mobility stretches to improve the flexibility of your hips. And then some hip strength exercises you can do using a resistance band.
Hip mobility exercises for flexibility
Stretching is an excellent habit to get into. A regular stretching routine is one of the best ways to maintain the range of motion of your joints – which is one of the first things to diminish as you age.
As well as keeping you active, the benefits of stretching include: lower risk of injury, improved posture and a greater sense of wellbeing.
Check out this video which contains a series of hip mobility stretches which take only 12 minutes and are excellent for opening up your hip joints and increasing flexibility:
Strength exercises for hip mobility
Below I’ve included a strength workout for hip mobility with 9 exercises you can do at home. These are best done using a set of resistance loop bands:
The bands should be looped around your legs while doing the exercises to add resistance and activate your hip muscles.
Included in the set are bands of several resistance levels so you can start with the light band and, as your hips get stronger, progress to the heavier bands. For more of a challenge, you could also try the ultra-high resistance fabric hip band – but only if you already have very strong hips!
See also our ultimate resistance loop workout for 50 exercises using resistance loop bands.
9 hip mobility strength exercises
Place the band just above your knees and stand straight with feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Now squat down, keeping your back straight, until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or higher if that’s difficult). Then, driving through the heels, return to a standing position. During the exercise, the band will apply a slight inward pressure on your knees which you should resist by pushing outwards. This will activate your hip muscles.
2. Hip Abduction
Place the band around your ankles and stand straight, legs slightly apart. Now shift your weight to one leg and, keeping your balance, stretch the band by lifting the other leg out to the side. Do several repetitions on one leg and then repeat with the same number on the other side. You should feel the exercise working on your hip abductor muscles.
3. Hip Flexion
Start in the same position but this time your leg should be lifted forward. Keep your body and both legs straight throughout the movement. Lift your leg up high and hold for a second – this will strongly engage your hip flexors.
4. Leaning Kickback
Lean forward onto a chair and with the band looped around your thighs. Stretch the band by lifting one leg backwards and up towards the ceiling. Try not to bend your knee during the movement, and hold for a moment at the top if you can. You should feel the exercise in your glutes and hamstrings.
5. Knee Raise
Loop the band around your toes and stand straight with feet together. Shift your weight to one leg and, with your other leg, lift the knee up until your thigh is parallel to the ground (or higher, if you can). Keep the band hooked onto your toes by not letting your foot point downwards. Try to hold for a second in the final position. This will work your hip flexors.
6. Side Shuffle
Here’s a video from our YouTube channel showing you how to do this exercise:
7. Diagonal Split Squat
Drop into a squat position with the band looped around your knees. Now step back and inwards with one leg. Lower your body slightly into the position, feeling the stretch in your hip, then come back to a standing position and repeat on the opposite side.
Lie on your side with the band looped around your knees. Stretch the band by spreading your knees apart as wide as possible while keeping your feet together. Done properly, all of the work should be done by your hip and glute muscles while the rest of your body should stay relaxed.
9. Band Walk
Loop the band around your knees or ankles. Take several steps forward, stretching the band with each step. Then reverse the direction and step backwards to the starting position. Repeat several times in each direction.
Try to do these hip mobility exercises at least once a week for best results. If you have a hip condition or are unsure if these exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor or physical therapist.
Click here to see our full range of exercise bands. See our blog for more resistance band exercises, and subscribe to our Instagram and YouTube channels for exercise videos like this glute & hip workout: