Hip strengthening exercises for seniors are a must. These 8 exercises are the most effective ways to strengthen your hips and prevent osteoarthritis pain.
If you’re a senior, you know that the hip joints often experience greater wear and tear than other joints in the body. This can lead to an increased risk of pain and disability as we age. This is a common issue that can be hard to avoid since we all start aging in different ways and at different rates.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that we can stay strong and avoid painful injury. So the only real way to keep your hips from hurting is with regular exercise.
This article will help to explain what should be done for this ailment, as well as provide a brief step-by-step guide on how to properly carry out the exercises. All the exercises are easy to do and take little time commitment, so they can be part of a morning or evening routine.
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Benefits of Hip Strengthening Exercises
It is very common for seniors to suffer from osteoarthritis. This is a painful disease of the joints that impairs movement, impairs coordination, and can lead to pain and disability.
Hip strengthening exercises are an important part of any osteoarthritis treatment regimen because they help to rebalance your body, strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and limit the risk of future damage. These are only some benefits that regular exercise can provide.
- Increased Strength: Hip strengthening exercises are the best way to increase strength in the hip joints. The stronger your hips are, the less easily they will slip or fall out of alignment. This will keep you strong and upright even as you age, reducing your risk of falls and helping to avoid hip replacements.
- Improved Balance: Regularly exercising your hips will improve their overall functionality, which is important since the hip joints also play a role in movement and balance.
- Lessened Risk of Osteoarthritis: Exercise is the best way to ward off the risk of osteoarthritis in the hip joints. It also reduces pain and inflammation and strengthens tendons and ligaments in this area, which helps to reduce future pain and weakness in the hip joints.
Hip strengthening exercises are a powerful way to avoid future osteoarthritis pain and disability. They improve your overall functionality, keep your hips balanced, and help you stay active even as you age.
8 Effective Hip Exercises for Seniors at Home
There are lots of different ways that you can improve the strength of your hips. But, not all exercises are equal in effectiveness, so it is important to choose the best ways to strengthen your hips. Here are some of the most effective hip strengthening exercises for seniors.
Standing Hip Extension
This is a great warm-up and simple exercise for the hips. Standing hip extension is an easy way to strengthen your hips and provide support for hip and knee disorders, due to the added stability of standing on two legs.
Stand in an upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart, feeling stable on your feet. And then just kick back a little bit behind you. Remember don’t arch your back, but just a little kick. Hold this position for five seconds then slowly push that leg back up to its original position. Repeat this exercise 10 times per leg, 3 times per week.
Standing Hip Abduction
This is a great exercise to strengthen the hips, but it does take some coordination. Standing hip abduction can be found at almost any gym.
Stand up straight with natural posture. Pull your toes up to lock out your knee and keep your leg nice and straight, and keep your toes pointed forward the whole time. So it’s not going out, but you’re almost leading with your heel, then slowly return to the starting position. Make sure not to swing back and forth. Do this exercise 10 times per leg, 3 times per week.
Hip Flexor Stretch Lunge
This is also a very important exercise, as the hip flexor muscles are often tight. This stretch should be done after each other type of knee exercise. The hip flexor stretch should be done before any other type of knee exercise. The head of the gluteus maximus muscle lies deep within your hips along with your femur bone. When performing this stretch, try to keep this muscle pulled taut throughout the entire movement.
For a hip flexor stretch in the lunge position, the side that you want to stretch is going to stay down. Bring the other leg forward so you look like you’re in the lunge. Keep your upper body nice and straight, so not leaning forward but keep it up, and then lean forward with your hips until you feel stretch through there. Hold that stretch. Repeat 8-10 times.
This is one of my favorite exercises for seniors, as it is an easy way to strengthen the hips and stabilize the spine. This exercise can be found in almost any gym, and it just requires a yoga mat or carpeted floor.
Lay on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Contract your glutes and slowly push through your heels until your hips are in line with your shoulders. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then slowly lower yourself back down. You can also use this exercise as a warm-up, by lying on your back and then doing a controlled glute bridge for 5 seconds, then slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat this sequence 10 times per leg, 3 times per week.
Side Hip Raises
This is a great exercise for strengthening the hips and working the muscles in your buttocks. You can do this exercise anywhere, and it works your hips in a good range of motion.
Lie on one side and feet flat on the exercise mats. Then, slowly lift the hips up and towards the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds. Then return to the starting position. Make sure you don’t place too much weight on your shoulders when doing this one. Turn to the other side and repeat 10 times, 3 times per week.
Side Clamshell is a great exercise for inner-thigh strength and flexibility. This is a effective exercise for seniors who struggle with lower back pain and sciatica, but it does take some coordination.
Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other. Turn your top leg out slightly. Bend the lower leg so that your knees make a 90-degree angle. Then, raise the top leg up and away from your body. This position should feel stable. Hold this position for initial contraction or 30 seconds then slowly return to the starting position. Do this exercise 10 times per side, 3 times per week.
This is a great exercise to strengthen the hips and provide good balance for seniors. It is also a good way to stretch the hips that are stiff after sitting for long periods.
Sit on the yoga mat, bring your knees together. Lift your arms up, overhead and behind you then bring your hands on the mat. Now bend your knees in toward your chest and extend your legs out to 45 in Pilates stance. Circle your legs to the right, to the center and back into the middle. Circle the legs down and around and up. Repeat this exercise 10 times, 3 times per week.
Knee to Chest
A great exercise for the hips and lower body. Knee to Chest involves doing a knee extension and resisting the knee extension by contracting your core.
Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor, about 12 inches apart. Then slowly pull one knee up toward your chest, keeping your foot relaxed. Hold this position for five seconds then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10 times per leg, 3 times per week.
A little bit of coordination and flexibility is required in these exercises, but the results are tremendous. Your hips will get stronger and you will feel less joint pain.
If you are not physically able to perform these exercises, then there are many other ways to strengthen your hips, such as using special hip strengthening braces or using hip enhancing cream. These methods do not require any physical activity, but they can be very effective for getting quick results.
Maintaining your health is very important for quality of life as well as longevity. Your body requires regular maintenance like the engine in your car.
Why are hip stretches important for seniors?
Hip stretches are important for seniors because they reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Falls are a serious problem with seniors, both in terms of their quality of life and hospitalization costs. An estimated 2 million people over 65 years old fall each year in the United States with the majority falling within a few hours after a fall. These falls can result in hip fractures, bone breaks, head trauma, and death from accidents such as slips-and-falls or from related complications such as pneumonia or heart failure.
How to hip exercise safely?
For hip stretches, you will want to use a towel to protect your skin from the stretching motion. The towel should be large enough that it will cover the front and sides of your hips properly; it should not be too tight or too loose, or else it will not affect your workout.
What type of hip stretches should I do?
There are three types of hip exercises, and they can be done in any order. Warm-up: These exercises should help warm your muscles before the workout. Stretch: The stretches should be held for at least 30 seconds and done 4 times with a 15-second break between each stretch. Each set should last for 30 seconds. Strengthen: The last part of the workout is to repeat the stretches up to 3 times, focusing on the hips and gluteal muscles.
How often should I do hip stretches?
Hip stretches should be done every day. The best time to do these exercises is within 30 minutes after walking or riding a stationary exercise bike. Hip stretches should be done in the morning and again at night before bedtime.
What should I do if my hip hurts during or after doing hip stretches?
If your hip hurts, stop the exercises and stand up slowly. Then try to stretch your hips again by moving them side-to-side and up-and-down. This is normal; it is a good idea to try stretching some more until your hips feel normal according to how they feel when you are not stretching. If the pain persists, consult your doctor.