Many of us focus on reducing our hip size to get a less curvy and more svelte appearance. However, we tend to underestimate the role our hips play in everyday mobility and how important it is to have robust and flexible hips.1Sato H, Kondo S, Saito M, Saura R. September, 2020. Effects of strengthening the hip flexor muscles on walking ability and the locomotive syndrome rank test: An intervention study. J Orthop Sci. DOI:10.1016/j.jos.2019.09.014 The hips are the body's foundation and help us with overall strength and stability by supporting the spine, internal organs, and core. By supporting the pelvis, the hip flexors also help improve strength and coordination in our arms and upper body, enabling us to make explosive lower-body moves like jumping and running.
Strong hip flexors will help you to develop and maintain a good posture and core stability, reverse the adverse effects of hours of sitting and improve overall athletic performance.2Konrad A, Močnik R, Titze S, Nakamura M, Tilp M. February 17, 2021. The Influence of Stretching the Hip Flexor Muscles on Performance Parameters. A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. DOI:10.3390/ijerph18041936You can promote physical longevity and mobility by actively improving the strength and flexibility of your hip muscles. Here are five exercises you can do to keep your hips in tip-top shape.
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Start with a mobility exercise like hip circles. The dynamic movement that hip circles provide stretches and warm up the muscles.
Additionally, you'll loosen up your lower-back muscles and slim your waist by strengthening your core.
It's one of the easiest and most effective exercises to start off with, so here's what you need to do:
For another warm-up round, the seated marching is a bit more challenging. This exercise targets your hip flexors directly, and it's great if you have trouble climbing up or down flights of stairs. Best of all, you can perform this exercise sitting on a chair, making it an excellent option for a desk workout.
Here's what you need to do:
Pro tip: You can use ankle weights to add intensity to the exercise.
If you're into targeting multiple areas at once, the lateral lunge is a crucial hip strengthener that also works your inner and outer thighs as well as your glutes. Apart from being known and used as a strength exercise, you also stretch your inner thighs and groin with each side lunge as a bonus extra.
Here's how to ace a lateral lunge:
This exercise may be somewhat challenging if you've never done a side plank. However, side planks are a great way to develop total-body strength, and by adding the knee drive, you're targeting those hip flexors.
The finale is a well-known ab-scorcher that also relies heavily on your hip flexors for control and stability. This is one spicy abs exercise with some much-needed hip action for overall flexibility and agility.
Here's what you need to do:
The hip muscles do much more than we actually think; they serve as the body's anchor, helping promote both upper and lower body mobility. Apart from exercising to stay in shape, it's also crucial to focus on your body's mobility so you can have many active years ahead of you. These five exercises focus on stretching and strengthening the hip flexors while also adding other muscles into the mix. For the ultimate hip workout, make sure to follow this routine two to three times a week, especially if you spend a lot of your time sitting.
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