11 Best Workout Moves for Stronger Hips

11-Exercises-for-Strong-Hips-and-Thighs-GettyImages-1265939708
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Looking for a great hip workout? These hip exercise moves will target your hip muscles, including your hip flexors. Plus they will strengthen your entire lower body and core, making them the best hip workout moves for building strong, injury-proof hips.

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The Best Hip Workout Moves

Strengthen one of the biggest and most important joints in your body with this effective hip workout, demonstrated by NYC-based fitness coach Chrissy King. Incorporate them into your existing strength routine three or four days per week for stronger hip muscles.

You'll need: A set of dumbbells (5 to 15 pounds, depending on your fitness level) and a resistance loop (or resistance band tied in a small loop). If you don't have all this equipment, try these mini-band exercises for improved hip strength.

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Balancing Squat

hip-exercise-squat-leg-lift
Peter Ardito

Adding a balance challenge to a standard squat will keep your hips, glutes, and abs firing the entire time.

A. Stand tall with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

B. Keeping chest lifted and maintaining a neutral spine, lower into a deep squat, reaching both arms to the floor (try to tap the ground if possible).

C. Press up and shift weight into right leg as left knee bends and grab onto shin with left hand [as shown].

D. Hold the hip workout move here for 1 count, release leg, and return to start.

Do 20 reps total, alternating sides.

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Standing Slow Side Kick

hip-exercise-slow-side-kick
Peter Ardito

This hip workout move is all about control. Try not to swing your leg—use hip and core strength to lift and lower.

A. With feet hip-width apart and hands on hips, slowly extend right leg to the side at hip height in 3 full counts. Be sure to keep inner thigh parallel to the floor.

B. Hold for 1 count, then take 3 counts to lower to floor.

C. Repeat on the left.

Do 15 reps per side.

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Side-Stepping Curtsy

hip-exercises-curtsy-lunge
Peter Ardito

This traveling lunge targets your thighs and glutes, plus the reaching motion adds an extra core challenge (speaking of which, try this 30-day plank challenge) to the hip workout.

A. Stand tall with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, hands clasped behind head.

B. Cross right leg behind left and lower into a curtsy lunge, reaching right hand to the floor [as shown].

C. Quickly stand back up and return to start.

Do 20 reps total, alternating sides.

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Alternating Side Jump

hip-exercise-skater-jump
Peter Ardito

A little plyometrics goes a long way to challenge your hip muscles, lower body, and your heart.

A. Standing with hands on hips, hop 3 feet to the left, landing on left foot with left knee slightly bent.

B. Bring right foot down to the floor.

C. Repeat to the right.

Do 15 reps per side.

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Hinging Deadlift

hip-exercise-deadlift
Peter Ardito

To keep your lower-body strength balanced, it's super important to strengthen your whole posterior chain, aka the muscles on the back of your body. Deadlifts, one of the most effective hip workout moves, recruit the muscles in your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

A. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the weights in front of thighs, palms facing in.

B. Maintaining a neutral spine, hinge forward from the hips and reach the dumbbells to the ground until torso is almost parallel with the floor.

C. Focus on using the glutes to raise body halfway back up [as shown] and then return to full forward hinge again.

Do 20 reps.

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Hip Raise

woman in workout clothes demonstrating single leg bridge hip and glute exercise
Peter Ardito

For a challenge, try this hip workout move with your foot on a slightly unstable surface, such as a bosu ball.

A. Lie face up with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

B. Slowly lift hips and extend left leg, pointing toes toward the wall.

C. Hold for 1 count, then move left leg out to the left side at 90 degrees.

D. Hold for 1 count and return to center before lowering.

Do 10 reps per side.

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Shifting Side Lunge

hip-exercise-lunge-squat-lunge
Peter Ardito

What happens when you combine a sumo squat with a side lunge? You get triple the hip workout in one move.

A. Stand with feet together, holding dumbbells by sides.

B. Take a wide step out to the right and lower into a side lunge, reaching dumbbells on either side of right leg [as shown].

C. Bend left knee and shift weight into both legs, into a wide squat position, reaching the dumbbells to floor in front of body. Then extend right leg and shift weight to the left, moving into a side lunge with left leg.

D. Push off the left foot to bring legs together and return to start.

Do 20 reps total, alternating sides.

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Traveling Squat-Kick

hip-exercise-kick-squat
Peter Ardito

Channel your inner martial artist for this hip workout move that also strengthens your quads and butt.

A. Stand with hands on hips and kick right leg in an arc across the front of body before bringing foot to the floor in a squat.

B. Step left foot next to the right and come to a stand.

Do 15 reps per side.

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External Hip Raise

hip-exercise-lying-hip-abduction
Peter Ardito

Build strength on the outside of your hip muscles with this hip workout move. (Check out the best metabolism-boosting strength moves, according to science.)

A. Loop a mini resistance band around ankles. Lie on right side, supporting upper body with the right hand and forearm.

B. Extend both legs out, feet flexed. Brace abs in tight and lift top leg up to hip height, rotating the leg to turn toes down to the floor, keeping tension on the band.

C. Lift leg slightly higher than hip height, pushing against band, with heel rotated up to the ceiling.

D. Return to hip height.

Do 20 reps per side.

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Single Leg Raise

hip-exercise-single-leg-kick-back
Peter Ardito

Kick up your hip workout with this targeted exercise that challenges the tush, outer thighs, and hip flexor muscles all at once. (Speaking of which, make sure to keep these exercises for easing pain in the hip flexor muscles in mind if you find yourself achey.)

A. Get on all fours, weight evenly balanced between hands and knees.

B. Lift left leg out to the side, keeping knee bent 90 degrees and inner thigh facing the floor.

C. Quickly kick leg diagonally behind the body, bringing the heel toward the ceiling.

D. Return left knee to the floor.

Do 10 reps per side.

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Side-Lying Leg Lift

hip-exercise-side-lying-leg-lift
Peter Ardito

This hip adduction workout move was named by the American Council on Exercise as one of the very best inner-thigh exercises, but it also engages your abs. To make it harder, loop a mini resistance band around your ankles.

A. Lie on right side with the right arm extended on the floor, left hand in front of body for support.

B. Brace abs, bring bottom leg slightly in front of the top leg (let the inside of top foot rest on the ground), and lift leg up to the ceiling, keeping hips stacked.

C. Maintain tension on the band at all times and pulse bottom leg up and down quickly 20 times. Repeat on the other side.

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