11 Exercises to Boost Hip Strength

Hip Strength

If you are currently doing a regular strength-training program, chances are you're already doing some foundation exercises for your hips. Squats, lunges, leg presses, and step-ups all work the prime movers of your hips.

Along with these exercises, it's also important to do some supplementary exercises to work your hip's supporting muscles. You've probably heard of your shoulder's rotator cuff. Well, your hip also has a cuff, or a group of muscles that help stabilize and support movement. For these exercises, you'll need a mini-band, a longer thera-band or tubing (both are sold at many sporting goods stores, or can be purchased online), and a cable-column unit.

4-Way Mini-band

Place a mini band around your ankles and spread your feet about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your legs relatively straight (you want the motion to come from your hips) and toes pointing forward, walk forward 10 steps, then backward 10 steps. Take a short break and then walk to the right 10 steps, then to the left 10 steps. Again, focus on keeping your legs straight and toes pointing forward.

It is very important to start with a light-resistance band. You'll be working the smaller hip stabilizers, so you don't need a lot of resistance.

You can also do the same movements described above with the mini band around your thighs as shown below. This changes the angle of pull on your hips, which will work them a bit differently.

X-Band Walk

For this one, you'll need a large band or piece of tubing. Step on the band and spread your feet shoulder-width apart. Form an "X" in front of you with the band and stand up nice and tall with your shoulders down and back. Keeping your toes pointing forward, take 10 steps to the right, pause and then return.

4-Way Cable Hip

You'll need a cable column for this one. Attach the cable to an ankle cuff and secure it around your ankle. With this exercise you're focusing on four movements—flexion, extension, abduction and adduction. Try and stand up straight while doing the exercise. If you have to lean excessively, reduce the weight. You'll find that not only are you working the muscles of the leg that's moving, the muscles of your stance leg will work quite hard stabilizing and balancing. Try 10 reps each direction.

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