Exercise is very important to your total health. It can help you prevent diseases, improve your stamina, strengthen and tone muscles and bones, and improve your quality of life. Hips, the core foundation of your body, were designed to help provide stability to both your upper and lower body. They provide the source of most of your power which allows you to walk, jump, kick, squat and run as these actions originate in your hips. Strong muscles in your hips are very important, yet despite being durable, the hip joint is not indestructible. There are several exercised designed to boost hip strength, including water exercise. “According to the American Council on Exercise, water buoyancy reduces the “weight” of a person to 90 percent. This reduces the burden on stress-bearing joints and muscles. For this reason, water aerobics will less likely cause injury and muscle soreness”(Ayers, 2010).
If you’re looking for exercises to help boost your hip strength, try one of the following five to start:
How to: Using a medium-resistance band, place both feet inside and position the band across the outside of both ankles. Both feet should be wide enough to provide tension on the band. (If your band is too big, adjust it around one ankle to relieve the slack.) Place your hands on your hips and with your spine straight bend your knees. Take a small step to your left. You should feel tension on the outside of your hips and legs. If you don’t then you may have to re-adjust the band. Step to your left 15 times, then to your right 15 times. Rest for a few seconds and then perform another set until you have done 3 sets total.
Plank and Raise
How to: Lie down on your left side, keeping your body in a straight line. Put your feet on top of each other. Rest on your upper body on your left forearm. Place your right hand on your right hip and raise your hips up off the floor using your left forearm. Focus on keeping your core centered and your hips lifted, raise your right leg and flex your foot a few inches; if your hips sink or you compromise your form simply lower your leg for a few seconds and try again. Start out doing 5 Plank and Raise per side and work up to 10. Do three sets total.
How to: (In Water) Stand in water at least waist deep with your back to the wall of the pool. Rest your arms on the deck for support and lift one leg out to the side as high as it will lift, then swing it down across the front of your left leg as far as you feel comfortable. Swing your leg back up and out to the right again. Continue this exercise for 15 to 20 repetitions and then switch legs. This exercise can also be performed out of water using a wall to brace your back or a chair to hold onto for balance.
Side Leg Lift
How to: Side leg lift, also known as hip abduction and hip adduction, helps strengthen your muscles. Standing in waist-deep water with your left side against the wall of the pool, hold the wall using your left hand for balance. Relax your knees and slowly swing your right leg out toward the center of the pool (to the side). Hold position for 2-5 seconds before slowly returning your leg to a complete standing position. Repeat five times. Allow your body to rest a few seconds and then turn the opposite way with your right side against the pool’s water. Repeat five times using your left leg. Note: This exercise can be done on land also.
How to: Most people walk several times a day at work and in your home but don’t consider it as an exercise. Walking is a great hip-strengthening and leg exercise which can be done in or out of the water. If you walk on land, whether it’s low or high impact, you will need a good walking shoe. On the other hand water is the perfect place to perform any type of exercise because it provides resistance which makes your muscles work harder. In water you can walk around the perimeter using the wall for balance if needed. The faster you try to walk the more resistance you’re going to experience in your hips, thighs and legs.
Medical Disclaimer: Always talk to a medical consultant before starting a new exercise routine or if you have any health care-related questions.
Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff WriterSharing is Caring!