Healthy Exercises for Hip Pain

Adventist Health is committed to improving your hip health. As a result, we’ve included a few exercises below which may help relieve hip pain or stiffness. Developed by our physical therapists, these exercises focus on leg strength, flexibility and function. While we have not included any aerobic exercises, they too can be beneficial to help control weight and reduce inflammation of joints.

Although these exercises may result in temporary discomfort, they should not cause or aggravate pain. If an exercise causes pain, stop doing it or try going at a slower or gentler pace.

Heel slides

  • Lie on your back. Extend both legs flat along the floor with toes pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Slowly pull your heel towards your buttocks as far as you can, attempting to achieve greater motion with each repetition.
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg.and repeat.

Quad Sets

  • Lie with your leg straight and toes pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Tighten the muscle on the top of your thigh, keeping your thigh on the bed while attempting to raise your heel slightly off the bed.
  • Hold your muscles tight for ten seconds.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

Supine hip abduction

  • Lie on your back on a firm surface.
  • Tighten your thigh muscles so that your knee is straight. Move your leg out to the side, keeping your knee straight with your foot and knee pointing to the ceiling.
  • Return to starting position. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg.and repeat.

Buttocks squeeze

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  • Squeeze buttocks together.
  • Hold your muscles tight for 10 seconds. Perform 2 sets of 10.

Seated knee extensions

  • While sitting in a chair, straighten your leg at the knee while keeping your back upright.
  • Slowly lower your leg to the starting position.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg. and repeat.

Sit to stand

  • Start by sitting in a chair with armrests and rise to a standing position.
  • Push with your arms to assist if needed.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to sitting.
  • Progress to sitting and standing without the use of your arms.
  • Perform 2 set of 10 repetitions.

Standing knee bends

  • Hold onto a chair, table or counter for balance and bend your knee on the surgical side, moving your foot towards your buttocks and keeping your thighs parallel.
  • Slowly return to starting position.
  • Perform 2 set of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg and repeat.

Standing marching

  • Hold onto a chair, table or counter and lift your leg up to the level of your hip, keeping you body erect, and lower slowly.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg and repeat.

Standing hip abduction

  • Hold on to a chair, table or counter and stand on your leg. Keeping your trunk upright, straight knees and toes pointed forward, move your leg out to your side and slightly back.
  • Lower your leg slowly to starting position.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg and repeat.

Standing buttocks squeeze

  • Hold onto a chair, table or counter and squeeze your buttocks muscle so that your leg extends backwards, keeping your knee straight and trunk upright.
  • Return slowly to starting position. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg and repeat.

Side-lying hip abduction

  • Lie on your side, with lower knee bent for stability.
  • Keep knee straight, lift your leg upward by using the muscles on the side of your hip.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Try the other leg and repeat

Want to learn more about exercises you can do to prevent hip pain? If you have questions about exercises, call Kathryn Harada today at 805-955-6233. Kathryn brings a passion for helping patients learn about the process and educating them on what to expect and connecting them to qualified physical therapists. To speak with Kathryn about your situation, call (805) 955-6233 or fill out the form below.

Meet our Nurse Navigator
Kathryn Harada, BSN, BA, RN, PHN, CNOR


To speak with our nurse navigator, fill out the form below:

Personal Information








* Required fields. By providing your details, you agree to receive communications such as annual appointment reminders, health education materials, event information, etc. from Adventist Health. For more information, you can read our legal and privacy policies in the footer below.