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Exercises for a stiff hip and pain at the side of the hip


Release, stabilize, release


If you want to increase the range of motion of your hips you need to do two things. The first is to work out why there is stiffness in the first place. This is normally because there is underlying weakness in other muscles causing other muscles to have to work too hard to stabilize. So you have to train these muscles to do the job that they are supposed to do in order to allow the other muscles to release. Then you can stretch them out, but only once you have to the first but right otherwise you can cause more harm than good. Also, bear in mind that if you have a tendinopathy (previously known as tendinitis) you really shouldn’t be stretching those tendons… have a read of this to learn more about what you should and shouldn’t be doing with tendons…  https://www.octopusclinic.com/tendon-problems-not-getting-better/


What’s the stability of the lower back and pelvis got to do with it?


The socket part of the hip joint is stabilised by working the deep muscles of the lower back and pelvis. This exercise below introduces training these muscle and also focuses on breathing from the diaphragm which has many physiological benefits including relaxation, which should not be underestimated. 

Start with number seven below and then make your way through number 8, 9 and 10.


07 – Foam Roller On Floor: Positioning Pelvic Neutral

You need to practice this exercise at least three times a day but also try to incorporate it into daily activities. 


Standing posture – bottoms up!


Standing with your bottom tucked under too much makes the muscles at the front of your hips tight stretched and puts the ones at the sides of your hips – your gluteus medius included – in a position that makes it difficult for them to work. Do this exercise to get your pelvic position right and also to start loading the gluteus medius muscle in the way it is designed. You might need to turn your knees out to point forwards over the center of your feet too (get in touch if you are not sure how to do this or if this is painful.)


73 – Hips: Correction Of Sway Posture In Standing


Sit to stand AKA squatting


This is a pretty fundamental day to day movement pattern but doing it as a daily exercise will help to train the muscles of your hips (amongst other handy things like your knees) as long as they are done with the correct alignment. 

22 – Lower Limb Alignment: Squatting


Get in touch if you have any problems or if you would like to learn more about hip or groin pain. 

Lucy Macdonald

Chartered Physiotherapist



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