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Want To Focus On Your Hips? Add These 6 Workouts To Your Routine

Your hip muscles actually do a lot of work, so keep 'em strong!
PHOTO: Getty Images

When you walk into a gym or get your workout station ready at home, more often than not, you already have a routine in mind. Some people prefer to have a combination of moves ready, making sure their whole body is feeling the burn, while others opt to dedicate one workout to a target area. It can be the butt, the abs, or even the arms—but rarely do people focus on their hips. Why is that?

Hip-strengthening isn’t very high on most people’s fitness goals, which is weird because your hips are responsible for stabilizing your lower body. The hips include any muscle that crosses the hip joint, which includes the muscles in your glutes, thighs, hamstrings, and the ones that connect your pelvis to the spine. So as you can imagine—they do a lot, including helping you bend and lift your legs. When they’re weak, it doesn’t always manifest in the area you think of because other parts of your lower body try to make up for that lack of strength. Weak hips, for example, has been associated with knee pain.

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The good thing is that a lot of the workouts that’ll benefit your hips are probably already a part of your fitness routine if you are a fan of variety. If you’re unsure, here are some moves you can try during your next sweat sesh.

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The Best Workouts For Your Hips

Workout for hips: Hip Raise

Lie faceup with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Slowly, lift your hips and extend your right leg, pointing your toes toward a focal point in front of you. Hold for one breath then move your right leg out to the side at a right angle. Hold for one count and return to the center. This is one rep. Repeat 10 times before switching legs.

Workout for hips: Bulgarian Split Squat

Squats, in general, are really great for your hips, but we challenge you to try doing one with a twist. Stand with your back to a chair. With your left leg firmly in place, put the top of your right foot on the chair (your shoelaces should be touching it). If you have dumbbells, hold them by your sides. Engage your core and bend your knees to lower down into a split squat. Make sure your left foot is far enough from the chair that you can do this without letting your knee go past your left toes. Adjust if necessary. Do this 10 times and switch to the other side.

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Workout for hips: Squat Kick

Stand with your hands on your hips. Start by kicking your right leg in an arc in front of your body. Steadily, bring your foot down to the floor and into a squat. Complete one rep by stepping your left foot into a standing position. Repeat this 15 times.

Workout for hips: Step Up To Reverse Lunge

For this workout, you’ll need a stable object like a chair; stand facing whatever object you choose. Step onto it with your right foot, driving your right heel and engaging your glutes in the process. Next, bring your left leg up, so you’re in a standing position on top of the chair, but let your left foot hover—your weight should still be on your right leg. Step back to the ground with your left foot, then let your right foot follow, bringing it behind you into a reverse lunge. Push through your left foot into a standing position. You’ve completed one rep. Try doing this 10 to 15 times before moving to the next workout.

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Workout for hips: Single-Leg Raise

Your starting position should be on all fours. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your hands and knees. Lift your right leg out to the side, keeping your knee bent at a right angle, with your inner thigh facing the floor. Swiftly kick your leg diagonally behind you, bringing your heel toward the roof. Return to the starting position. Complete 15 reps.

Workout for hips: Kettlebell Swing

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your kettlebell on the floor, right between your legs. Lean slightly forward and bend your knees into a squat, grabbing the kettlebell handle with both hands. Swing the kettlebell between your legs, and then stand back up. Use the momentum from your hips to swing the kettlebell until it’s as high as your chest. Engage your butt. Lower back down as you swing the kettlebell between your legs again to complete another rep. Repeat this 10 to 15 times.

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