Cartwright Fitness

A vibrant street race scene focused on runners' legs and colorful running shoes, with sunlight casting long shadows on the pavement.

Hip Pain Running: Best 11 Exercises to Boost Hip Strength 2022

Table of Contents

Hip strength is important for everyone, regardless of age or activity level. Weak hips can lead to a number of problems, including pain in the lower back, knees, and ankles. In addition, weak hips can make it difficult to do everyday activities, such as climbing stairs or getting out of a chair.

Fortunately, there are plenty of exercises that can help improve hip strength. These exercises can be done at home or at the gym and require no special equipment. Here are eleven of the best exercises to boost hip strength.

1) Squats

physical therapy, hip pain running, hip pain, hip joint, tight hip flexors, hip muscles, tight hips, left knee, tight muscles, hip flexor pain, hip flexor muscles, knee pain, hip flexor stretch, hip pain exercises, lean forward, stress fractures, thigh bone, hip injuries, relieve hip pain, hip flexor, left hip, hip labral tear, causes of hip pain, hip flexor strain, hip flexor stretches, knee bent

Squats are a great exercise for strengthening the hips and legs. The movement works the muscles of the thighs, glutes, and core. It also helps improve balance and coordination. One of the best things about squats is that they can be done anywhere and don’t require any special equipment.


  • The first step is to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • From here, begin to lower your hips, keeping your back straight and your knees behind your toes.

  • Continue lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

  • Hold this position for a count of two, then return to the starting position.

  • Repeat for 8-10 repetitions.

Many variations of the squat can be done to target different muscle groups. For example, you can do a sumo squat by spreading your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and turning your toes out. You can also do a single-leg squat by standing on one leg and holding the other leg out in front of you.

The key to doing any squat correctly is to keep your back straight and move slowly and deliberately. Don’t let your knees extend past your toes, and don’t let your lower back round.

The benefits of squats are numerous. In addition to strengthening the hips, they also improve leg strength, flexibility, and balance. They can also help relieve pain in the lower back and knees.

2) Hip Thrust

282d3f23 56df 4c01 99c1 fbc6be619f88

Hip thrusters are a great exercise for targeting the muscles of the glutes, including the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. This exercise is also known as a bridge. It’s a great move for improving hip and core stability.

The key to performing this exercise correctly is to keep your spine in a neutral position and to thrust your hips up, rather than arching your lower back.


  • To do a hip thruster, start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent.

  • Place your hands on the ground beside you for stability. Then, drive your heels into the ground and lift your hips off the ground, thrusting them upward.

  • After you squeeze your glutes at the top of this move, slowly lower your hips until they return to the starting position.

  • Repeat for 8-10 repetitions.

There are many benefits of doing hip thrusters. These benefits include Improved hip and core stability, Increased glute strength, Greater explosive power, Improved posture, and Decreased risk of injury.

The hip thruster is a great exercise for those who sit all day or have a sedentary lifestyle. It’s also helpful for runners, cyclists, and other athletes who use their legs extensively.

3) Curtsy Lunge

1e667c8e ad56 4ecb a157 93b666942447

The Curtsy Lunge is a fantastic way to strengthen your hips and lower body. This movement is similar to a lunge, but you stay in the position of a curtsy to better work your glutes and inner thighs.

It is important to maintain good form when doing this exercise. Remember to keep your back straight and not let your knees go past your toes.


  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, then take a sandbag (or dumbbell) in both hands and rest it on your left shoulder.

  • As you keep your back straight and pull in your stomach muscles, step backward on your left foot and to the side of your right leg into a curtsy lunge. At the same time, lower the sandbag across your body toward the outside of your right thigh.

  • To return to the starting position, carefully reverse the movement you just made. Continue this for several repetitions before changing sides.

The same benefits that come with the original squat exercise- such as glute, quad, hamstring, and adductor development- are seen with this variation. With the addition of an angular movement, you’re also able to work on your obliques, shoulders, and transverse abdominis.

When done with proper form, the Curtsy Lunge is a safe and effective way to work for many different muscle groups at once. You can use this exercise to tone your legs, build strength in your lower body, and improve your overall balance.

4) Fire Hydrant

874ddb05 e8cc 4056 ae1a 12a427a25341

The fire hydrant exercise is a great way to tone and strengthen your glutes, as well as your hips and thighs. This move may seem easy, but it’s actually quite challenging. The key is to keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement.

This will help prevent your lower back from arching and will also help you get the most out of the exercise. Learning the proper form and technique is key to unlocking fire hydrants’ full potential.


The fire hydrant is an exercise you can do without any special equipment. All you need is a mat.

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees to begin. Put your shoulders above your hands and your hips above your knees. Pull your belly button toward your spine and look down.

  • Keep your knee at a 90-degree angle, and raise your left leg away from your body 45 degrees.

  • To finish one repetition, lower your leg back to the starting position.

  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Then, repeat the process with the other leg.

The fire hydrant is an excellent way to work your glutes. Additionally, some variations work the abdominal muscles more effectively, thereby toning and strengthening your core.

As the biggest muscle group in the body, the glutes are important for many daily activities such as walking, running, and sitting. Strong glutes can help you avoid injuries and improve your overall performance.

5) Lateral lunges

417e670c 47c6 40d1 8612 5d67af0ad6ad

Lateral lunges are a great way to target your gluteus medius, which is the muscle that helps stabilize your hip and keeps your knee from collapsing inward when you walk or run.

This exercise also works your gluteus maximus, quadriceps, and hamstrings. As with any lunge, it’s important to maintain good form to prevent knee injuries.


  • Put your feet together so they touch. Now slightly bend your knees.

  • For even distribution of weight, place your entire foot on the floor and grip the floor with your feet to maintain a stable position.

  • Start by positioning your hands on the sides of your hips, and pre-tensioning your shoulders, hips, and core. Every repetition should start from here.

  • Slowly take a large step to the side while keeping your spine neutral and chest upright. Your lead leg should support most of your body weight.

  • As you move back into the lunge position, allow your chest to move forward until it is over your bent leg. Your other leg should be straight and your foot should be pointing forward. Your pelvis should not be tilted at the bottom position.

  • Your hips, shoulders, and ears should all be in line with each other at the top of the movement. You can use your arms to help maintain balance or for added intensity by holding dumbbells.

  • Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions on each side.

The benefits of lateral lunges go beyond just toning and strengthening your glutes. This exercise can also help improve your balance and coordination. Additionally, it can help increase the range of motion in your hips and thighs.

Lateral lunges are a great way to add variety to your workout routine. They can also be done with weights to make them even more challenging.

6) Low Stance Jack

50dd60d4 9169 4dd0 b3a6 6b7a1b8bdf37

The low stance jack is a great way to improve your hip strength while also working on your balance and coordination. It is important to keep your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart when performing this exercise.

There are different versions of stance jacks, but the low stance jack is going to be the most effective for hip strength. The reason is, when your feet are closer together it forces your hips to work harder.


  • Make sure to stand straight with your feet close together and arms extended above you, barely grazing the ceiling.

  • Jump up in the air and spread your legs out to the sides. Swing your arms down and to the side.

  • Land with your feet about shoulder-width apart, or slightly wider. When you land, you want to have your legs slightly bent to take the impact better.

  • With one hand, touch your toes on the other side. Your knees should be slightly bent, and keep your back straight.

  • Use your upper body to return to a standing position, then jump into the air. While flying, move your arms in a side-to-upward motion and keep your legs pulled inward.

  • Get into starting position.

Doing this exercise probably won’t help you get fit the fastest, but it can still offer some helpful benefits. Although stance jacks emphasize certain muscles over others and don’t provide as much of a cardio workout, they share many benefits with regular jumping jacks.

You can use this move to improve your Hip mobility, Glute strength, Quadriceps strength, Calves strength, Ankle mobility, and Cardiovascular endurance. Doing low stance jacks also helps with proprioception or your body’s awareness of where it is in space.

7) Pilates Scissors

340dd1be 99fd 4baf 9b29 caaa8fad45f2

Pilates scissor is another great exercise to improve hip strength while also working on your balance and coordination. This move is a bit more challenging than the others on this list, so make sure you have a good understanding of the scissor movement before attempting it.

The scissor movement is initiated from the powerhouse, or center of the body. From here, one leg extends out to the side while the other leg remains in a tabletop position. The legs then open and close like a pair of scissors, making sure to keep the movement slow and controlled.


  • Start in a seated position with both legs extended in front of you and your spine tall.

  • Keeping your abs pulled in tight, slowly lower one leg out to the side while keeping the other leg in a tabletop position.

  • Continue lowering the leg until you feel a stretch in your inner thigh.

  • From here, begin opening and closing your legs like a pair of scissors, making sure to keep the movement slow and controlled.

  • Do 10-15 repetitions on each side.

The potential health benefits of exercise are well established and hip strengthening exercises are no different. Not only can these moves help to improve your overall strength, but they can also help to reduce your risk of injuries, such as hip fractures.

8) Pilates Leg Lifts


Pilates leg lifts are another great exercise for toning the hips and thighs. This move is similar to a move that is often done in yoga, but with a few key differences. First, instead of resting your head on your hands, you will rest it on your elbows. This helps to keep your spine in alignment and prevents strain on the neck.

Second, when you lift your legs, be sure to keep your knees bent and point your toes. This helps to ensure that you are working the muscles in your hips and thighs, and not your knees. Finally, be sure to keep your abs engaged throughout the move to help support your back and prevent injury.


  • Start by lying on your back with your head resting on your elbows and your knees bent.

  • Engage your abs and slowly lift your legs up, keeping your knees bent and toes pointed.

  • Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down and repeat

There are many benefits to Pilates leg lifts. First, they help to tone the muscles in your hips and thighs. Second, they help to improve your balance and coordination. Third, they can help to relieve back pain. In addition, they are a great way to get a full-body workout.

9) Pilates Swan


Swan is a great exercise for improving the range of motion in your hips and strengthening your glutes. The added bonus is that it also stretches your chest and shoulders. This is a great move to do before a workout or race to loosen up your hips and prepare your body for activity.

When performing Swan, be sure to keep your abdominals pulled in so that you don’t arch your back. You should also focus on contracting your glutes throughout the exercise.


  • Lie face down on your mat with your arms by your sides and your forehead resting on the mat.

  • Bend your knees and place your feet hip-width apart.

  • Pressing into your feet, lift your chest and legs off the mat.

  • Draw your shoulder blades down and back, and open your chest.

  • Hold for two counts, then slowly lower back to the starting position.

  • Repeat 10 times.

Swan pose stretches the front body, opens the chest, and expands the abdominals, hip flexors or quadriceps. It is not only an excellent counter stretch to use during a Pilates sequence, but it can also help restore flexibility to anybody who sits a lot and experiences tight hip flexors.

Swan is also a good opportunity to work on making your muscles stronger. While doing Swan, your abdominals stay engaged and other muscles like the shoulders, back, inner thighs, pelvic floor, glutes, and hamstrings are all at work too.

10) Kettlebell Swing


The kettlebell swing is a dynamic exercise that works the entire body, but it’s especially good for the hips and glutes. This move provides a great cardio workout while also toning the muscles in your lower body.

The kettlebell swing is a two-handed exercise that begins with the kettlebell between your legs. You then swing the kettlebell up to shoulder level, using your hips and glutes for power. Reverse the motion and let the kettlebell swing back down between your legs before repeating the move.


  • Begin standing with feet shoulder-width apart, a kettlebell on the ground in front of you.

  • Bend at your hips and knees and grab the kettlebell with both hands, using an overhand grip.

  • Swing the kettlebell up to shoulder level, letting your hips and glutes do most of the work.

  • Reverse the motion, allowing the kettlebell to swing back down between your legs.

  • Repeat the movement for 10-12 reps.

This is a great exercise for beginners because it’s relatively easy to learn. However, it’s also effective for more experienced exercisers because it can be done at a variety of speeds and intensities.

11) Glute Bridge


The glute bridge is a great move to activate your glutes and get them firing properly. This move also strengthens your hamstrings and lower back. When performed with dumbbells, it also works your upper body.

There are plenty of ways to do the glute bridge, but the most common is to lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Place a weight across your hips and drive through your heels to raise your hips off the ground. This move can be done with your legs straight or bent.


  • Lie flat on your back with feet planted firmly on the ground and shoulder-width apart, knees bent to 90 degrees.

  • Place a weight across your hips. This can be done by holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing down, or by placing a barbell across your hips.

  • Drive through your heels and raise your hips off the ground until your thighs and torso are in line with each other, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees.

  • Hold for two counts at the top of the position, then slowly lower back to the starting position.

  • Repeat 10-12 times.

If you’re feeling the burn in your glutes and hamstrings, then you’re doing it right. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, the bridge is perfect for improving hip mobility and strengthening your lower back.


These are the best 11 exercises to boost hip strength in 2022. Try incorporating some of these moves into your workout routine to improve your overall health and fitness. When you strengthen your hips, you’ll also be improving your balance and stability. All of these benefits can help reduce your risk of injury in the future.

If you have any questions, please consult a qualified personal trainer or medical professional. Thanks for reading!

Related Posts

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top