A Gentle, 15-Minute Workout to Ease Hip Pain

Exercises that can help ease hip pain include child's pose, figure 4 stretch and half-kneeling adductor rock.
Image Credit: Cavan Images/Cavan/GettyImages

If you've noticed your hips are feeling tighter than usual, you're far from alone. Hip pain is common and can occur for a multitude of reasons.

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One cause in particular is a lack of internal and external range of motion in your hips. This prevents the ball-and-socket joint of the hip from moving properly.

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Another reason for hip pain is a lack of strength in either your hamstrings, quadriceps or both. In order to promote better hip mobility — as well as strength within that newfound range of motion — it's important to move through all planes of movement.

The following low-impact hip exercises take you through all planes of movement to improve your hip range of motion, ease pain and strengthen the surrounding muscles. (It's important to note moving through careful, deliberate movements can help ease pain.)

All of these exercises together help to improve the mobility of your hips while strengthening and lengthening the surrounding muscles that supports this essential joint.

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How to Do This Workout

Do 1 set of each movement for the number of reps listed below. The workout should take you about 15 minutes to complete.

The Workout

1. Lying Hamstring Stretch

Sets 1
Reps 10
  1. Sit on the edge of a couch with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Make sure you have enough room to lean back on the couch.
  2. Lean your torso back so your upper body is flat on the couch. As you do so, bring your right knee up toward your chest. Keep your left foot planted on the floor.
  3. Raise your right leg and pull your thigh gently toward your chest, either grabbing your leg above or below (but never behind) the knee. Make sure your right foot is flexed.
  4. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds.
  5. Bend your knee, then straighten it again for 2 to 3 seconds.
  6. Continue to bend then extend your knee 10 times before switching legs.
  7. Repeat on opposite side.

2. Half-Kneeling Adductor Rock

Sets 1
Reps 10
  1. Kneel on your left knee on the edge of a couch or chair, extending your right leg directly out to the side.
  2. Tuck your elbows into your armpits and take a deep breath in.
  3. Keeping your spine straight, exhale as you sit your hips back as far as you can before you notice your back begin to round. You should feel the stretch in the inner thigh of your straight leg.
  4. Simultaneously extend both arms out in front of you.
  5. While inhaling, gently push forward, “rocking back” to the starting position with your elbows tucked into your armpits.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch sides.

3. 3-Way Hip Stretch

Sets 1
Reps 10
  1. Begin in a half-kneeling position by stepping your left foot forward and bending your left knee to 90 degrees. Your right (back) knee should be bent on the ground and toes tucked.
  2. Lean forward as much as you can so your left knee is over your left toe. Don't let your left heel come up off the ground.
  3. Lean back to return to starting position and repeat this 10 times.
  4. Next, move your left foot a little to the left so it's at a 45-degree angle to your body. Lean forward and backward in the same way as above 10 times.
  5. Next, move your left foot a little more to the left so it's at a 90-degree angle to your body. Lean forward and backward in the same way as above 10 times.
  6. Repeat everything with your opposite leg.

4. Seated Internal and External Hip Rotation

Sets 1
Reps 10
  1. Start sitting on the edge of a couch or chair with your feet flat on the floor, legs bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Place both hands on your right knee.
  3. Rotate your right hip outward by lifting your right foot and rotating your right knee outward as if you were going to cross your right ankle over your left knee.
  4. Return your right foot back to the ground in starting position.
  5. Rotate your right hip inward by lifting your right foot and rotating your right knee inward.
  6. Return your right foot back to the ground in starting position.
  7. Continue to alternate rotating your right knee outward and inward 10 times.
  8. Repeat on left side.

5. 90/90 Hip Switch

Sets 1
Reps 10
  1. Sit on the ground with one knee bent in front of you at 90 degrees and one knee bent behind you at 90 degrees.
  2. Lift both knees up and turn to face the leg behind you, keeping your heels planted on the ground.
  3. Keep switching back and forth for a total of 10 times.

6. Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Sets 1
Time 30 Sec
  1. Begin in a half-kneeling position by stepping your left foot forward and bending your left knee to 90 degrees. Your right (back) knee should be bent on the ground and toes tucked.
  2. Raise your right arm directly above your head.
  3. Inhale and bend your torso to your left.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Return your torso to the upright starting position, then switch sides.

7. Figure 4 Stretch

Sets 1
Time 30 Sec
  1. Sit on the edge of a couch with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Make sure you have enough room to lean back on the couch.
  2. Cross your left ankle over your right knee.
  3. Press your left knee down as far as it can comfortably go.
  4. Grab the back of your right thigh with both hands and lean your torso back so your upper body is flat on the couch.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on opposite side.

8. Sumo Squat With Lateral Rock

Sets 1
Reps 10
  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle. (If the position feels uncomfortable, move your feet in a little closer).
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you.
  3. Keeping your back straight, push your hips back and bend your knees out over your toes to squat down. Thinking about sliding down a wall, keeping your back as straight as possible and avoiding leaning forward or sticking your butt out.
  4. Lower until your your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as you can go).
  5. Shift your weight to the right. Your right knee will naturally bend and your left leg will straighten.
  6. Shift your weight to the left. Your left knee will naturally bend and your right leg will straighten.
  7. Continue alternating for a total of 10 reps.

9. Frog Pose to Child's Pose

Sets 1
Reps 10
  1. To get into frog pose, begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
  2. Take a deep inhale, then begin to slowly move your knees out toward the sides (away from each other).
  3. Whenever you start to feel sensation in your inner thighs and groin, stop and exhale to allow your muscles to relax. Don't continue to move your knees outward if you're feeling pain.
  4. Turn your feet out toward the sides so the inner edges of your feet, ankles and knees are touching the ground. Keep your feet flexed to support your ankles. Keep your ankles in line with your knees.
  5. Take another deep inhale and slowly stretch your arms forward with your palms facing down.
  6. Bring your feet together to get into child's pose.
  7. Alternate between frog pose and child's pose 10 times.

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