Do you often find that your hips feel sore during or after exercise? Whether caused by tendon irritation, weak muscles, or an old injury, hip pain can be quite debilitating and can keep you from enjoying the sport you love. Thankfully, there are several pretty simple exercises a physical therapist can prescribe and guide you through performing. Take a look below:
You may have performed bridge-ups for fun as a child. Sometimes in gymnastics classes, they are simply called "bridges" or "hip bridges." The concept is simple. You lie down on your back with your arms to your side and your palms facing down. Then, while keeping your hands flat, you raise your hips towards the sky, essentially creating a 90-degree angle with your knees. Hold the position for as long as is comfortable. If you start with just 5 or 10 seconds, that's great! After a few sessions, you should be able to build up to 30 seconds. Rest after each bridge; perform about 5 of them per session. They'll strengthen your hips and also the abdominal muscles that stabilize them.
Side planks are also quite easy to perform and really great for strengthening your hip abductors — the muscles located on the outside of your hips that draw your hips outward. To perform a side plank, begin by laying on your side. Then, rise up so that you are balanced on your elbow and the side of your bottom foot with the other foot stacked on top of it. Hold this position for 10 seconds at first, slowly working your way towards a 60-second hold. Make sure you do side planks on both sides each time you do them.
People often think of ball crunches as being primarily good for the abs. However, if you present with hip pain, your physical therapist will probably recommend some ball crunches. All you need is a big yoga ball. Sit on the ball with your legs in front of you, and cross your arms across your chest. Then, just fold at the waist and do some basic crunches. You'll feel the strain through your hips as you have to use them to keep you stable as you do crunches on the ball.
If you are tired of dealing with athletic hip pain, make an appointment with a physical therapist. They can guide you through these and other helpful exercises.