July 19, 2021 9 min read
Want to build a stronger body, prevent pain and injuries, and improve posture all at once? If so, then you need to start strengthening your hip muscles!
The hip muscle group is one of the most important muscle groups in the entire body. When your hips are strong, your whole body gets healthier as a result.
Thankfully, you don't need to go to the gym to strengthen your hips because most hip-strengthening exercises are simple bodyweight movements!
Therefore, we put together a list of our favorite hip-strengthening exercises for home workouts. Add them to your workout routine today to start seeing better hips and a better body!
The hips are an all too commonly neglected muscle group. They don't get the same amount of attention as the chest, back, or leg muscles. Despite that, the hips are truly one of the most important muscle groups to strengthen. Why is it so crucial to build strong hips?
Here are just a few reasons:
Moreover, weak hips can lead to an entire cascade of other health issues.
Not only are the hips neglected in the gym, but few people understand hip structure. Understanding basic hip anatomy will help you pick out exercises that specifically target the hip muscles.
There are more than twenty different hip muscles. They are broken down into six groups based on the movement they help initiate from the hip joint.
The six groups are the:
Between these six groups, some of the largest, most important hip muscles are the:
Again, while these are not the only muscles in the hips, they are some of the most important ones to strengthen.With that said, here are the best hip-strengthening exercises for at-home workouts:
Clamshells are one of the best exercises for strengthening the gluteus medius and the outer thighs.
Here's how to do clamshells with proper form:
You know you are doing these right if your opening knee looks like an opening clamshell!
Glute bridges target your glutes and the backs of your legs, including the hamstrings. In terms of the glutes, they work the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus.
Here's how to do glute bridges with proper form:
To make glute bridges more challenging, try one of these variations:
Unlike regular lunges where you step forward, you take a step backward for reverse lunges. It has more of a gluteal strengthening effect than traditional forward lunges.
To add an extra layer of difficulty, if you have a set of small hand weights at home, you could hold one in each hand while doing the lunges.
Here is how to do reverse lunges with proper form:
Resistance band side steps are a classic, no-fail hip strengthening exercise. They target the hip flexor muscles, gluteus medius, and outer thighs. At the same time, you also pump up your heart rate to get a great cardio workout!
Here is how to do resistance band side steps with proper form:
If you want to make the exercise more challenging, take larger steps to the side or use a greater-strength resistance band.
Single-leg hip lifts are a more challenging variation of the glute bridge. They require extra strength from the gluteus medius.
Here's how to do them:
To make these even more challenging, try pulsing your hips up while your leg points in the air!
Next up, donkey kicks are a classic lower body Pilates exercise. As a hip extension exercise, donkey kicks primarily target the gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae.
Here's how to do donkey kicks:
If you want to make donkey kicks more challenging, do them with a loop resistance band wrapped around your thighs.
Also, keep in mind these crucial form tips when doing donkey kicks:
Side leg raises are another classic Pilates move. They are a lateral abduction movement, so they require the most work from the hip abductors, including the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. They also draw strength from the inner thighs.
Here is how to do side leg raises with proper form:
Not only are side leg raises an ideal exercise for hip strength, but they are also a great indicator of hip mobility. The higher you can laterally raise your leg, the more flexibility in your hip joint. If you can't raise your leg very far, you may have tight hips and could use some hip stretches!
Step-ups are a classic hip flexion exercise. To do them, you'll need a chair, stair, or small step box. Whatever you use, you want it to be at a height where your thigh is parallel with the ground as you step on it.
Here's how to do step-ups:
For step-ups to be effective, you have to get the technique down. Therefore, keep these important form tips in mind:
Next up, fire hydrants are another hip abduction exercise. They are one of the best exercises for overall glute and hip strength. Here's how to do fire hydrants:
You will know you are doing fire hydrants correctly if you look like a dog opening their leg to pee on a fire hydrant! When you do the exercise, keep these form tips in mind:
In addition to traditional strength training exercises, you should do yoga for extra hip strength. Yoga not only helps further strengthen the hips but it also improves flexibility. With more hip flexibility, you can reach a greater range of motion in each of these exercises. Here are some of the best yoga poses for the hips:
The half-moon pose is particularly effective at both strengthening and stretching the hips. Here's how to do it with proper form:
People often underestimate yoga as being ineffective for strength building. However, yoga's unique movement patterns challenge the muscles in new ways to help build strength!
Most people's hips don't get enough activation these days. Be one of the people that stop that cycle by integrating these top at-home hip-strengthening exercises into your workout today!
Strengthening your hips is one of the best things you can do for better health. Activate your hips to activate a healthier and stronger life!
Bonus tip: Your glutes intricately interconnect with your hip muscles. Therefore, give our top butt exercises a try to build both stronger glutes and stronger hips at the same time!