Regain Hip Mobility and Strength After 60 With These Exercises

Hip strength and mobility exercises
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Regain hip mobility and functional strength at any age with these 5 best exercises you can do.

With age, it’s natural to experience some level of decline in your mobility, functions, flexibility, and strength. One such age-related decline that’s particularly common is hip mobility.

Poor hip mobility can lead to lower back pain, stiffness in your joints, and even knee problems for some.

Your hips are at the center of your body and all movements involve your hips and adjacent muscles in one way or another. It’s not an overstatement that the health of your hips holds the key to your everyday movements, functions, and strength.

The good news is, you can regain your hip mobility and strength with simple exercises.

These exercises will help you activate and strengthen your hip flexors and adjacent muscles. They also help stretch those muscles, which can lead to increased flexibility, mobility, and range of motion.

Whether you are looking for relief from stiffness in your hips or trying to strengthen for better mobility, these moves can help.

The 5 Exercises To Regain Hip Mobility and Strength

The 5 Exercises To Regain Hip Mobility and Strength

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1. Lunge Twists

lunge with twist

Lunges are terrific for building both strength and mobility. This exercise puts a great stretch through many muscles of the hips and low back. You’ll always feel great after hitting this move!

How to Perform

  • Place your left foot a few feet in front of your right foot.
  • Lunge down, so that your right knee comes closer to the floor. 
  • Then, place your right hand on the ground and twist toward your left side.
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 4 times on each side, 3-5 times per week.

2. Lunge with Back Extension

Lunge with Back Extension

As you will see, lunges are the perfect choice for your hip mobility routine. This move differs slightly from the previous exercise, emphasizing different muscles of the hips and low back.

How to Perform

  • Place the left foot a few feet in front of your right foot.
  • Lunge down as low as you can, aiming to get your right knee close to the floor.
  • Next, reach your arms up toward the ceiling and extend your trunk backward slightly.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 4 times on each side, 3-5 times per week. 

3. Single Knee to Chest Stretch (SKTC)

Single Knee to Chest Stretch

If you’ve ever had to have physical therapy for back or hip pain, you’ve probably performed this stretch. 

This move tends to be very easy for nearly everyone and generally causes very little discomfort. Best of all, the SKTC can often lead to significant improvement in symptoms after only a few focused stretching sessions.

How to Perform

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Next, pull your right knee up toward your chest, placing both of your hands on your shin.
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 4 times on both sides and perform this whole series 3-5 times per week.

4. 90-90 Runner’s Stretch

90-90 Runner’s Stretch

If you’re a jogger, sprinter, or even a walker, you’ve probably performed this stretch before. If you haven’t, you should! This stretch improves mobility throughout the entire hip joint and is great for active individuals.

How to Perform

  • Sit on the floor, with your right leg in front of you, with your knee at a 90-degree angle. You may need to use your hands to position your legs correctly.
  • At the same time, move your left leg out to the side, with your left knee also bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • At this point, you should have the outside of your right thigh and lower leg on the ground, with your insole facing the ceiling. Also, you should have the inner part of your left knee and the inner portion of your left lower leg on the floor.
  • If you need to, be sure to pad up your hips, knees, and ankles with pillows. This will take most of the stress off of these areas and will be much more comfortable for you.
  • Hold this position for 1-2 minutes on each side and perform this stretch 3-5 times per week. 

5. Advanced Down Dog

Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Downward dog stretches out the hamstrings, glutes, back, and many other areas. By adding in one small modification, you can significantly increase the stretch and stability work for the hip region. 

How to Perform:

  • Begin in a downward dog, with your body in a “V” shape created by your hands and feet being planted on the floor and your hips shooting straight up in the air.
  • Next, kick your left leg up towards the ceiling, keeping your knee straight.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat it 4 times on each side. Complete this series 3-5 times per week. 

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Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS

Bennett Richardson is a physical therapist and writer out of Pittsburgh, PA. He has maintained certification as a strength and conditioning coach (CSCS) since 2014. He then went on to earn a BS in exercise science and a doctorate degree in physical therapy, both from Slippery Rock University. In his free time, Bennett likes to read and exercise.

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