The hip is one of the most underrated joints in the human body considering the number of activities it is responsible for. It’s a major weight-bearing body joint that’s responsible for functional activities such as climbing stairs, sitting, running, standing, walking and many more.
Here are some exercises to help you maintain strong and mobile hips though it must be pointed out that you have to check with your doctor or healthcare practitioner to know whether or not you’re healthy enough to do these exercises.
It’s advisable to start with one set of these exercises on a daily basis in the bid to maintain hip strength and flexibility before graduating to two or three sets per day.
Side Leg Raise – It strengthens the gluteal muscles on the side of the buttocks and hip. Gluteal muscles are essential to activities like running and walking in maintaining proper hip and knee position.
The procedure for the side leg raise exercise is as follows: Lie down on one side. Lift up your top leg while the other leg is bent and close to the floor. Proceed to lift the top leg up gently while the knees are straight and the toes are pointing forward. Suspend the top leg in the air for two seconds before you lower and repeat 10 times.
Ball Bridges – This is a fantastic way to boost their strength of both the hamstrings and the gluteal muscles.
The procedure for ball bridges is as follows: Carefully position a Swiss ball under calf muscles while lying on the floor. Lift your buttocks off the floor gently after engaging the abdominal muscles. Hold the raised pelvis position for two seconds, then lower slowly before you repeat the procedure for 10 to 15 times.
Straight Leg Raise – The straight leg exercise can help to support the knees in addition to strengthening the front of the quads and the hips.
The procedure is as follows: Keep one knee bent and one leg up while you’re on the floor. Tighten the quads on your straight leg before lifting it up by 12 inches. Hold that position for two seconds, lower your leg gently and repeat the same process for 10 to 15 times. Note: Your leg should be as straight as possible for the entire duration of the straight leg raise.
Pelvic Drop (also known as hip hikers) – This hip exercise gets your gluteal muscles functioning well while you’re in a weight bearing position.
The procedure is as follows: Stand sideways with one foot on the step while the other is suspended in the air. Lower your pelvis so that your other foot moves towards the floor. Movement should come from the hip joints while both knees are straight. Slowly return to the starting point after the pelvis has been lowered and repeat the process 10 times.