Osteoarthritis is considered a degenerative disease caused by the breakdown of cartilage which makes bones to rub together, resulting in bone spurs, pain or stiffness. There are many other health conditions that may lead to hip pain. When this happens, exercise may be difficult or completely avoided. However, it has been shown that appropriate hip exercises can help to strengthen hip muscles, improve balance, improve stability of the hip joints and delay or prevent hip replacement surgery.

Recommended exercises for hip pain and hip strengthening include walking, water workouts, stationary cycling, yoga, resistance training and flexibility fitness. The following are some examples of stretches and hip strengthening exercises that can alleviate hip pain.

5 Yoga Stretches to Increase Flexibility and Decrease Pain

Add the following 5 yoga stretches to you hip exercises for hip pain and you will know the magic of exercise in alleviate pain.

Bound Ankle Pose

Binding your ankles means unbind your hips. To do this, sit and bring the soles of your feet together, and pull your heels close to your groin while bending the knees so as to flare the legs open. If needed, a blanket can be propped under the sit bones to prop your hips up. While keeping your spine straight, lead with your chest and pull your shoulders back folding toward your feet. This pose opens and relaxes the inner thighs and groin.


Cow Face Pose

After threading the left leg under your right leg, work toward stacking the knees while keeping both sit bones on the ground. Tuck your toes in to protect the knees and sit in this pose for several minutes. Fold forward with a straight spine when your muscles begin to loosen and you no longer feel a stretch. If this stretch is too intense for you, situate both sit bones on a blanket and place a block or blanket between your knees.


Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back and grab both feet with one foot in one hand. Bend your knees and pull them toward your armpits. Once in the position, rock side to side while keeping your head on the floor. This will stretch and externally rotate your hips, loosen your inner groin muscles and help to realign your spine.


Goddess Pose

Regardless of your gender, this pose will help you open your hips. Step your feet out wide, turn your toes outward, bend your knees so they line up with your ankles and then tuck your buttocks in to engage your core. The further your toes are pointed outward, the deeper your stretch will be.

NOTE: If you have a knee or hip injury, avoid this pose.


Garland Pose

Turn your heels so they line up with your hips, turn your toes outward and bend at your knees until you reach a squatted position. If your heels have to be lifted while squatting, place a blanket beneath them. This pose is very effective as it increases fluidity in your hips and stretches your ankles, knees, lower back as well as strengthens your core muscles.

3 Resistance Training Exercises to Do at the Gym

It is recommended to always use a weight that gives you the most resistance but with the ability to lift comfortably. Utilize the following machines to perform hip exercises.


This machine will strengthen your quadriceps and hamstring muscles which are both attached to your hip for support. If the machine is vertical, you will start out standing and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

NOTE: If you have severe arthritis or have hip replacement surgery, do not do this exercise.


Quadriceps Squeeze

While sitting in the chair of the quadriceps machine, place your knees under a pad and straighten your knees against the resistance. To get the most out of the exercise, squeeze your quadriceps both when you lift the weight up and when you let it down.


Hamstring Squeeze

This machine works your hamstrings. You should push against the pad moving your knee up toward the ceiling. Or depending on which position the machine is in, you may be able to move the knee backward against the pad.

5 Flexibility Fitness Exercises that Can Be Done at Home


Standing Iliotibial Band Stretch

Stand next to a wall for support and cross your leg closest to the wall behind the other. Then lean your hip toward the wall until you feel a stretch on the outside of your hip. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.

Recommendation: Perform 2 sets of 4 daily.


Seated Rotation Stretch

Sit on the floor with legs straight, cross one leg over the other and slightly twist toward your bent leg, putting your hand behind you for support. Place the opposite hand over your bent thigh, use it to twist further and look over your shoulder. Hold for 30 sec and return to the center.

Recommendation: Perform 2 sets of 4 daily.


Knee to Chest

Lie on your back with your legs extended straight. Bend one knee and grasp your shinbone with your hands. Gently pull your knee toward your chest as far as you can. Hold for 30 sec and relax for 30 sec.

Recommendation: Perform 2 sets of 4 daily.


Supine Hamstring Stretch

Lie on the floor while bending both knees, lift one leg off the floor and bring your knee toward your chest. Clasp your hands behind your thigh below the knee, straighten your leg and pull gently toward your head until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds and relax for 30 sec.

Recommendation: Perform 2 sets of 4 daily.


Hip Abduction

This is one of the great hip strengthening exercises for hip pain. Lie on your side with top leg straight and bottom leg bent for support. Keep your top leg straight and raise it 45 degrees. Hold it for 5 seconds and relax for 2 sec.

Recommendation: Perform 8 times each leg 2-3 days per week.

NOTE: When doing this exercise, use ankle weights. Begin with a weight that allows 8 repetitions comfortably working up to 12. As it becomes easier, add weight in one pound increments.


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