11 Best Hip Strengthening Exercises That Can Help Boost Stability

These hip strengthening exercises can boost your stability and mobility, and help reduce the risk of injuries in the lower back.

woman doing banded squats hip strengthening exercises

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Hip strengthening exercises can help improve stability and mobility. They can also help reduce the risk of injuries, particularly in the lower back and lower extremities. Strengthening the hip muscles is crucial for lower body stability and function.

Hip Strengthening Exercises Target Muscles.

Any effective hip strengthening exercises should target a combination of muscles around the hip joint to ensure hip stability and functionality.

The key muscle groups that hip strengthening exercises should target include:

  • Gluteus Maximus
    It is the largest muscle in the buttocks and plays a critical role in hip extension or moving the thigh backward and hip strength.
  • Gluteus Medius
    Located on the outer side of the hip, it is responsible for hip abduction or lifting the leg to the side and hip stability.
  • Gluteus Minimus
    It is a smaller muscle located on the outer hip. It assists in hip abduction and stabilization.
  • Hip Flexors
    The hip flexor muscles, including the iliopsoas and rectus femoris, allow for hip flexion or lifting the thigh toward the abdomen.
  • Adductors
    These inner thigh muscles bring the thigh back toward the body’s midline.
  • Hamstrings
    While primarily responsible for knee flexion, the hamstrings assist in hip extension and play a role in hip stability.
  • Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL)
    Located on the outer hip, it assists in hip flexion and abduction.
  • Piriformis
    It is a deep muscle in the buttocks. It aids in hip external rotation and abduction.

Targeting the above muscle groups when performing hip strengthening exercises will ensure balanced hip strength and minimize the risk of injury.

Overworking the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL) muscle can lead to several potential issues and discomfort. To prevent that from happening, include a variety of hip-strengthening exercises in your fitness routine.

Balancing the strengthening of the TFL with exercises that target the gluteal and other hip muscles can help maintain muscle harmony and reduce the risk of issues related to overuse or imbalance.

A well-rounded routine that addresses hip flexors, extensors, abductors, and adductors will contribute to optimal hip function and health.

Best Hip Strengthening Exercises for Stability and Flexibility

Below are some of the best hip strengthening exercises that target muscles around the hip joint, helping to promote better posture and reducing the risk of injuries.

Incorporating these hip extension exercises in your training regimen can help improve balance, mobility, and hip strength, benefiting activities like walking, running, and maintaining proper alignment.

Ideally, start with 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each exercise, gradually increasing the intensity as you build strength and endurance in the hip area.

Banded Clamshells

banded hip adduction cable pull through alternative and hip strengthening exercises

Banded clamshells are hip strengthening exercises for targeting the hip abductors.

Adding a resistance band to the clamshell exercise increases the challenge and provides resistance throughout the range of motion, making it more effective for strengthening the muscles.

Steps to follow

  • Lie on your side with your knees at 90 degrees and your feet together.
  • Place a resistance band just above your knees.
  • While keeping your feet touching, open your knees against the band’s resistance as far as possible while maintaining proper form.
  • Slowly close your knees back together and repeat.

Bulgarian Split Squats

hip strengthening exercises - bulgarian split squat - front squat alternatives and hamstring exercises at home

Bulgarian Split Squats are excellent hip strengthening exercises that target the quadriceps and gluteal muscles. They also engage the hip muscles, including the hip flexors and stabilizers, to maintain balance and perform the movement correctly.

The exercise requires hip stability, strength, and mobility to execute effectively, making it beneficial for lower body development, including the hips.

Steps to follow

  • Stand a few feet from the weight bench or sturdy elevated surface, facing away from it.
  • Place the top of one foot behind you on the bench.
  • Lower your body by bending the front knee until it reaches a 90-degree angle or slightly below, keeping your back straight.
  • Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position.

Banded Hip Bridges

best hip exercises - woman doing banded glute bridge - glute isolation exercises

Hip bridges are effective hip strengthening exercises that primarily target the gluteus maximus. They also engage the hamstrings and lower back muscles to some extent.

The bridges are excellent hip strengthening exercises for the posterior chain. It can help improve hip stability, posture, and lower body strength.

The banded hip bridge is a variation of the traditional hip bridge that incorporates resistance bands to add extra challenge to the exercise.

The resistance band adds extra resistance as you push your knees outward against it during the movement, making the exercise more effective for hip strengthening and stability.

Steps to follow

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place a resistance band slightly above your knees, and keep your feet at hip-width.
  • Press through your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold this position briefly, then lower your hips back to the floor.


lunges - best hip flexor exercises

Lunges primarily target the muscles in your hips, glutes, and thighs. You engage the hip extensors as you push yourself back up to a standing position, which is essential for hip strength.

Lunges also engage the hip flexors and adductors as you stabilize and control the movement, making them excellent hip strengthening exercises for lower body strength and hip stability.

Steps to follow

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips or by your sides.
  • Step forward with one leg, ensuring your knee is directly above your ankle when your foot lands.
  • Lower your body by bending both knees until they are each at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Push off with your front foot to return to your starting position.

Side Leg Raise

Side leg raises are some of the best hip strengthening exercises for targeting the hip abductors.

Side leg raises can benefit those looking to improve hip stability, prevent issues like IT band syndrome, and enhance lower body strength and balance.

IT band Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome, often referred to as IT band syndrome or ITBS is a common overuse injury that affects the iliotibial band—a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the outer side of the thigh from the hip to the knee. ITBS typically occurs in runners, cyclists, and athletes involved in repetitive leg movements.
IT band syndrome develops when the iliotibial band becomes tight or irritated, leading to friction as it rubs against the bony prominence of the hip or the knee joint. The repetitive friction can cause inflammation, pain, and discomfort, especially on the outer side of the knee or hip.
Common symptoms of IT band syndrome include:
Pain on the outer side of the knee or hip. The pain is often sharp and worsens with activity.
The affected area may become swollen or tender to the touch.
ITBS pain typically intensifies during activities that involve bending and straightening the knee, such as running, cycling, or climbing stairs.
Symptoms often subside when you stop the activity or after rest.

Steps to follow to perform side leg raises

  • Lie on your side with your legs straight and one leg stacked on the other.
  • Lift your top leg as high as you can while keeping it straight.
  • Lower your leg back to your starting position without letting it touch your bottom leg.


leg press vs. squats - bodyweight calisthenics exercises

Squats primarily target the muscles in the hips, thighs, and glutes. You engage the hip extensors as you rise from the squatting position, which is crucial for hip strength.

They are a fundamental compound exercise that can help strengthen the entire lower body, including the hips, and improve lower body strength, stability, and mobility.

Steps to follow

  • Stand with your feet at shoulder-width.
  • Lower your body by bending your knees and hips, keeping your back straight.
  • Lower yourself until your thighs and the floor are parallel or as far as your flexibility allows.
  • Push through your heels to return to your starting position.

Squats also engage the hip flexors and adductors as you stabilize and control the movement.

They are a fundamental compound exercise that can help strengthen the entire lower body, including the hips, and improve lower body strength, stability, and mobility.

Conventional Deadlifts

strength training exercises - conventional deadlifts - best barbell back exercises

Conventional Deadlifts primarily target the hip extensors and the lower back muscles. You engage the hips to lift a weight from the floor to a standing position, making them powerful hip exercises for strengthening the muscles in the area.

Steps to follow

  • Stand with your feet at hip-width and with a loaded barbell or weight in front of you.
  • Bend at your hips and knees to lower your body and grasp the weight with an overhand or mixed grip.
  • Keep your back straight as you stand up, lifting the weight while extending your hips.
  • Lower the barbell back to the floor with controlled movement.

Single-Leg Stance

The Single-Leg Stance might seem simple, but balancing on one leg engages the hip muscles and other stabilizing muscles around the hip joint.

The movement improves hip stability and proprioception and can help prevent falls and injuries, making them effective hip strengthening exercises for your training regimen.

Steps to follow

  • Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent.
  • Keep your back straight, chest up, and shoulders relaxed.
  • Try to balance on one leg for a specified duration, starting with a few seconds and gradually increasing as you build strength and stability.

You can make the exercise more challenging by closing your eyes or adding small movements like hip circles while balancing on one leg.


step ups - alternatives to lunges and best hip strengthening exercises

Step-ups engage several muscles, including the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. These are essential for hip stability and strength.

The exercise targets the hip extensors and flexors and challenges hip stability and balance.

Step-ups can help improve hip strength and functionality, making them one of the best hip strengthening exercises that can help improve your performance in various activities, incliding climbing stairs or hiking.

Steps to follow

  • Stand in front of a sturdy bench or platform.
  • Place one foot onto the bench or platform.
  • Push through the heel of the elevated foot to lift your body upward.
  • Step back down with control.

Knee Raises

Knee raises target the hip flexors. They mimic the movement of lifting your thigh toward your abdomen.

Knee raises are some of the best hip strengthening exercises that help improve hip flexor strength, benefiting activities that involve lifting your legs, such as running or cycling.

Steps to follow

  • Hang from a pull-up bar.
  • Begin with your arms fully extended and your feet hanging freely.
  • Contract your hip flexors to lift your knees toward your chest, curling your pelvis upward.
  • Lower your knees back down with control.

Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell exercises for beginners - woman doing kettlebell swings for back fat exercises

Kettlebell swings are highly effective hip strengthening exercises for targeting the hip extensors and the lower back muscles.

They are dynamic and explosive exercises that involve hip hinge movements, making them essential for developing hip strength and power.

Kettlebell swings are some of the best hip strengthening exercises for boosting strength in the area, explosiveness, and lower body power.

Steps to follow

  • Stand with your feet at shoulder-width, holding a kettlebell with both hands in front of you.
  • Hinge at your hips and bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight and chest up.
  • Swing the kettlebell backward between your legs.
  • Thrust your hips forward and swing the kettlebell upward to chest level or slightly higher, maintaining a strong core and straight back.
  • Allow the kettlebell to swing back down between your legs, and repeat the movement.

Power Clean

man training with a barbell-07

The power clean is a compound Olympic weightlifting movement that primarily targets the hip extensors and several other muscles like the traps, shoulders, and lower back.

The power clean is excellent for developing hip power, strength, and explosiveness. That makes it a valuable addition to strength and conditioning programs for athletes and individuals looking to enhance their lower body strength.

Steps to follow

  • Stand with your feet at hip-width, holding a barbell or weighted object in front of your thighs.
  • Bend at your hips and knees to lower the weight to the floor.
  • Extend your hips and knees and explosively lift the weight, pulling the weight upward to shoulder height.
  • Catch the weight at shoulder level while descending into a partial squat.
  • Stand up with the weight, fully extending your hips and knees.
  • Lower the weight back to your starting position.

Benefits of Hip Strengthening Exercises

Hip strengthening exercises offer a range of benefits. These include

  • Improved Stability
    Strong hip muscles provide better stability to your pelvis and lower back, reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing balance.
  • Enhanced Mobility
    Strong hips enable greater flexibility and range of motion in the hip joint, making daily activities and sports movements easier.
  • Injury Prevention
    Strong hip muscles can help prevent injuries, particularly in the lower back, hips, knees, and lower extremities.
  • Better Posture
    Hip strength can contribute to good posture by supporting the spine and aligning the pelvis.
  • Pain Reduction
    Strengthening the hips through hip strengthening exercises can alleviate or reduce hip pain and discomfort caused by various conditions or overuse.
  • Increased Athletic Performance
    Athletes benefit from improved hip strength. That can enhance power, agility, and performance in sports.
  • Functional Fitness
    Strong hips are essential for functional movements like walking, running, squatting, and lifting heavy objects.
  • Balance and Coordination
    Hip strength contributes to better balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls.
  • Injury Rehabilitation
    Hip strengthening exercises are often part of rehabilitation programs for hip-related injuries and surgeries.
  • Lower Body Strength
    Strong hips complement the strength of surrounding muscles, contributing to a well-balanced lower body.

How to achieve the most from hip strengthening exercises

Consider the following tips to help you achieve the most from hip strengthening exercises and reap the maximum benefits.

  • Consult a Professional
    Newbies or those with specific concerns or conditions should consult a fitness trainer or physical therapist.
    They can assess their needs and create a tailored hip-strengthening program.
  • Proper Form
    Ensure you use correct form and technique for each exercise to maximize its effectiveness and prevent injury.
    Improper form can lead to muscle imbalances or injuries.
  • Consistency
    Consistency is key. Perform hip strengthening exercises regularly, ideally 2-3 times a week, to see noticeable improvements in strength and stability.
  • Balanced Routine
    Include various hip strengthening exercises that target different hip muscle groups, such as hip extensors, flexors, abductors, and adductors, in your training regimen.
    That can help promote comprehensive hip health and balance.
  • Progressive Overload
    Gradually increase the intensity of your exercises by adding resistance, weights, or repetitions over time to help challenge your muscles.
  • Warm-Up and Cool Down
    Always warm up before starting your hip training exercises with light cardio and dynamic stretches.
    Perform static stretches after your workout to help maintain flexibility and reduce muscle tension.
  • Listen to Your Body
    Pay attention to any pain or discomfort during exercises. It is essential to distinguish between discomfort due to muscle fatigue and pain that may indicate an issue.
    Stop the exercise if you experience pain and seek advice if necessary.
  • Rest and Recovery
    Allow your muscles time to recover between workouts. Adequate sleep, nutrition, and rest are crucial for muscle repair and growth.
  • Include Functional Movements
    Integrate hip strengthening exercises that mimic movements you perform in daily life or sports activities to enhance functional fitness.
  • Combine with Cardio
    Incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your routine to complement hip strengthening.
    Cardiovascular fitness improves endurance and supports your strengthening efforts.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
    Proper hydration and a balanced diet rich in nutrients are essential for muscle health and general well-being.
  • Measure Progress
    Keep track of your progress by noting any changes in strength, flexibility, and balance. That can motivate you to continue with your routine.

Final words from LiveLIfe

Maintaining strong and functional hips is essential for your well-being and longevity, irrespective of whether you are an athlete looking to enhance performance or an exerciser seeking to prevent hip-related issues as you age.

Incorporate the hip strengthening exercises into your fitness regimen as a proactive step toward improved functionality, better mobility, and enhanced well-being.

They can help alleviate hip pain, enhance athletic performance, and help you maintain a high-quality lifestyle.


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