Hip Stretching and Strengthening Exercises


The hip is made up of over seventeen muscles. The gluteals are comprised of the buttocks and the inner thighs or the adductor muscles. They add the legs back to the body. The adductors pull the leg toward the opposite leg. Muscles that flex the hip are located at the front of the hip joint and include the illiopsoas muscles, which begin in the back and pelvis. Rectus femoris is one of the quadriceps muscles located in front of the leg and thigh. The hamstrings are found in the back of the thigh and start in the pelvis; they help extend the hip or pull it backwards.

Hip Bridges

Lay on your back and lift your hips, legs, and lower body off the floor. Make sure your hips, shoulders, and legs are in a straight line. Hold this position for 12 seconds. For a more advanced take on this exercise, march by alternately lifting each foot off the ground while keeping the hips elevated.

Hip Extension

Lay on your stomach. Hold your legs up and alternate lifting each leg and holding it up for five to seven seconds each. Do 12 repetitions for each leg.

Hip Adductor Squeeze

Lay on your back and lift your glutes off the floor. Hold a medicine ball between your legs and squeeze it for 12 seconds. Keep your knees and thighs steady, holding the ball between them. Do the adductor squeeze for 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

Hip Abductor and Adductor

Stand up straight and keep your back and legs straight as you lean your leg out and away to abduct your hip away from your body. Then adduct, or add the leg back to the body, as you bring your leg back across. Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each side.


Lunge first with just your body weight. Keep your face forward and one leg in front. When you lunge, do not let your knee extend over your toes. Keep the other leg directly you, and squat almost to the floor. Do 1 set of 12 reps on one side and switch to the other for 3 sets on each side.


Pull your belly button towards your spine and contract your abdominal muscles. Lower your body as though you are sitting in a chair. Go down until your butt is in line with your knees Make sure your knees are behind your toes. Do 3 sets of 12 reps. For a challenge, try to balance your squat with one leg up and the other on the ground.

Quadriceps Stretch

Stand up straight and plant one foot on the ground. Lift up your other foot and hold it with your hand. If you need to, balance against a wall for more stability. Do 3 sets of 12 reps for each side.

Kneeling Hip Flexor and Pirformis Stretch

Step into a lunge position and lower your back knee to the ground. Keep your chest, back, shoulders, and head as straight as you can and keep your pelvis facing forward. Alternate legs. For a pirformis stretch, straighten the leg in back and bend the other knee lower. Do 3 sets of 45 seconds holds on each side.


For more intense stretch, try a butterfly stretch. Bring the legs to the chest if you are lying down or bring them closer to the hips if you are sitting. Hold this stretch between 30-60 seconds for 3 reps. For a modified version, bend only one knee into your body at a time.


  1. Club EAS, EAS Complete Workout CD, 2004, Golden, Colorado
  2. Core Training Stretching
  3. Hip Strengthening Exercises
  4. ISSA, Exercise the Interactive Guide, 2002, Carpinteria, California
  5. Lemaire. Sylvain. Physigraphe Clip Art Version 2 Pro, 2004
  6. Lower Body Stretch
  7. Lunge Stretching
  8. Move Those Hips
  9. Muscles of the Hip
  10. Lemaire. Sylvain. Physigraphe Clip Art Version 2 Pro, 2004
  11. Fullem, B. (2004 May). Stretching and strengthening exercises for iliotibial band syndrome. Running Times Magazine. Retrieved from http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=6099

About Christina Chapan

Christina Chapan has written 3 posts in this blog.

Christina Lee Steele Chapan is a certified personal trainer with four certifications from ACE, ISSA, AFAA and SCW. She specializes with fitness for children and those with special needs. In addition to attaining her certifications, she is also an elementary and special education school teacher with a B.S. in Elementary Education, a minor in Biblical Studies from North Central University, an endorsement in Special Education, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Development from Governors State University. Her passion is for training the future of tomorrow. She is available for training, speaking and writing. Please visit her website at:

Fit 4 Fun — http://worknotes.com/IL/Chicago/Fit4FunKidsFitness/

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