How Elderly People Can Benefit From Exercises That Strengthen Their Hips.

You are going to read an article that provides information on hip strengthening exercises for older adults. As you get older, the hip joint, the pelvis, and the muscles that are found there are highly crucial to both your overall health and your ability to move around on your own.

Hip joints are the attachment point for some of the body’s major muscles. The majority of your muscle mass is comprised of the massive muscles found in the legs, the glutes, and the musculature of your lower back.

When we walk, it is these muscles that cause us to move and that maintain us standing upright. The amount of muscle mass an individual possesses not only shields us from injury when we land on our posteriors but also has the ability to accurately predict their risk of dying.

The hip joint is also highly bothersome for a great number of elderly people because it has a propensity to become inflamed and is reasonably easy to hurt. In spite of the fact that it is a large joint, it frequently absorbs the majority of the force when we trip and fall.

Healing after a hip fracture can be excruciatingly slow, and in very elderly patients, it is possible that the fracture will never completely heal. Sadly, injuries to the hip are frequently the cause that sends elderly people to the hospital for the final time. This is particularly important to keep in mind if you have osteoporosis.

What Exactly Do Hips Consist Of?

The hip joint and the entire pelvis are typically considered to be part of what is referred to as the hip or hips in common parlance. The femur and the hip bone are connected via a ball-and-socket joint that we refer to as the hip joint. The hip bones on both sides of the body are what make up the Pelvis. The sacrum in the back connects the two sets of hip bones.

The pelvis is the fulcrum that transfers force between our lower and upper bodies. It is also the part of our body that connects our spine to the rest of our lower body.

The wing of the hip bone, also known as the iliac crest, can be broken when someone takes a fall. This type of hip fracture is typically a pretty benign ailment that heals on its own. However, if the hip socket is broken or shattered in any way, recovery can be exceedingly difficult and significant surgery may be necessary.

There are a number of significant muscle groups that are associated to the hip joint and the pelvis. These are the following:

  • Muscles of the abdominal cavity, specifically the internal and external obliques, as well as the transversus abdominis muscle.
  • Muscles in the lower back, including the multifidus, as well as various ligaments in the lower back.
  • These are the largest muscles that operate above the hip joint, and they are called the gluteal muscles. During activities like walking, running, lifting, and jumping, these muscles are the ones that get the most work. The gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius are the two muscles that make up the gluteals. They are in charge of moving the hip joint in the abduction and extension positions.
  • Hip rotators are comprised of a number of smaller muscles, the most notable of which is the piriformis, and are responsible for the rotation of the leg at the hip.
  • The hip adductors are the muscles that are responsible for drawing your legs closer together. These are the adductor brevis, adductor longus, and adductor magnus muscles.
  • The long head of the bicep femoris is the part of the hamstrings that links to the pelvis. Hamstrings are a huge muscle. The hamstrings make a sizable contribution to the extension of the hip, particularly in the position where the hips are fully flexed.
  • The psoas major and illiacus muscles are examples of hip flexors. These muscles allow you to raise your leg by flexing your hips, like when you bend over.

Benefits of Hip Strengthening Exercises For seniors

Hip strengthening exercises can offer numerous benefits for seniors, promoting better overall health, mobility, and independence. As people age, they may experience a decline in muscle strength, balance, and joint flexibility, which can increase the risk of falls and injuries. Hip strengthening exercises can help counteract these effects and provide the following benefits:

  1. Improved Balance and Stability: Strong hip muscles play a crucial role in maintaining balance and stability. Strengthening these muscles can reduce the risk of falls and the resulting injuries, which are common among seniors.
  2. Increased Mobility: Hip exercises can enhance the range of motion in the hip joint, allowing seniors to move more freely and comfortably in their daily activities.
  3. Joint Health: Regular hip strengthening exercises can help maintain the health of the hip joint, potentially reducing the risk of hip-related issues such as arthritis and bursitis.
  4. Enhanced Posture: Strong hip muscles contribute to better posture, which can reduce strain on the spine and improve overall alignment.
  5. Reduced Back Pain: Weak hip muscles can lead to increased stress on the lower back. Strengthening the hips can alleviate this stress and potentially reduce back pain.
  6. Support for Daily Activities: Strong hips are essential for activities like walking, climbing stairs, bending, and getting in and out of chairs. Improving hip strength can make these tasks easier and more manageable.
  7. Independence: By maintaining hip strength and mobility, seniors can retain their independence and remain active in their daily lives.
  8. Muscle Mass Preservation: Aging often leads to muscle loss (sarcopenia). Hip exercises can help preserve muscle mass and prevent further deterioration.
  9. Weight Management: Regular physical activity, including hip strengthening exercises, can aid in weight management and improve overall cardiovascular health.
  10. Enhanced Quality of Life: Being able to move freely and confidently can positively impact a senior’s quality of life, allowing them to engage in social activities, hobbies, and maintain their overall well-being.

It’s essential for seniors to consult with their healthcare provider or a certified fitness professional before starting any exercise program, including hip strengthening exercises. They can receive personalized recommendations and ensure that the exercises are safe and appropriate for their specific needs and health conditions.

Targeting The Appropriate Muscles.

As can be seen, the hip and the pelvis are connected to a significant number of muscles. You don’t have to commit any of them to memory at all. However, it is helpful to have an understanding of fundamental anatomy as well as the activities of the joints and muscles in order to comprehend the goals that we hope to accomplish by increasing the power of our muscles.

In a general sense, strength training never focuses on one specific muscle at a time. In most cases, at least one muscle group that is responsible for a single movement pattern, such as extending the hips, is targeted by the exercise.

There are several workouts that target multiple muscle groups or even the majority of your muscles, and they are typically the activities that are the most helpful and practical for maintaining overall health.

The deadlift is an excellent illustration of a movement that engages the entirety of your body, from your head to your toes. Your legs are responsible for moving the weight, while your arms are responsible for holding it. In order to efficiently transfer force between your legs and arms, each and every muscle in between must be engaged.

In the article “Handgrip Exercises for Seniors,” I discussed how good it is for improving handgrip strength. This exercise is also highly helpful for this purpose.

Best Hip Strengthening Exercises For The Elderly

There aren’t many great exercises that focus just on the hips, but there are plenty of multi-joint functional motions like squats and deadlifts, which I’ve discussed in a few different posts.

The gluteal muscles, the adductor muscles, and the abductor muscles are the ones that will be the focus of our attention here. Even though strengthening the hip flexors isn’t typically necessary, we’ll nonetheless have a look at a straightforward workout for those muscles.

Having any one of these muscles that is either too weak or too tight might result in a wide range of issues. One of the most common reasons for lower back discomfort is having weak hip muscles. Although wearing a back brace may help alleviate some of the discomfort, the only approach to solve the underlying problem is to work on building muscle and increasing mobility.

Maintaining mobility in the hamstrings is critical to healthy hip function. When your hamstrings are tight, it makes it difficult for your glutes and lower back to function properly. In the article “Hamstring Stretches for Seniors,” I went into greater detail on this topic.

Your hips will be affected not only by the muscles in your core, but particularly the abdominals. The articles Core Strength Exercises for Seniors and Sit-Ups for Seniors provide more information regarding the significance of maintaining a strong core for older adults.

Your ability to perform strength exercise may be hindered if you have arthritis since it can impact your hips. As discuss here in the post titled “Best Recumbent Bike For Seniors” With Arthritis, there are additional methods available to you to maintain the functionality of your hips.

Strength training, which can be performed by the vast majority of persons with arthritis, has been shown to considerably reduce the severity of the condition’s symptoms. If you have arthritis, you should at the very least be willing to consider it and talk about it with the doctor who is treating you.

Let’s begin with a move that works the hips as well as the rest of the lower body, so let’s do some hip openers.

Leg Press for Elderly People.

The squat is a great exercise for building lower body strength; however, the leg press is an even better lower body strength builder. It is far simpler to master than the squat, and you are able to use a higher weight with it without risking injury.

Keep in mind that the leg press is not as effective at improving your balance and coordination as the squat. Squats using only your own bodyweight are an excellent exercise that older citizens should strive to perfect and continue to perform in order to maintain their mobility and strength. Of course, this will only be possible if your joints can handle it.

The increased difficulty of the leg press makes it a particularly effective exercise for targeting the glutes. If you want to focus more on your glutes and hamstrings rather than your quads, you should raise your heels on the platform a little bit. Even so, it will work out the entirety of the lower body.

You should lower the sled as far as you are able to without experiencing any discomfort in your hips. You can experiment with a variety of leg widths to determine which one offers the most range of motion and feels the most comfortable.

The most important thing to remember is to keep your pelvis and lower back firmly planted on the seat at all times. In the event that this occurs, reduce the amount of weight and the range of motion. As you gain strength, you will be able to gradually improve the range of motion you can perform.

Donkey Kicks.

You may target your glutes with donkey kicks, which are a wonderful exercise that you can practice at home or in the gym. They work the gluteus maximus in addition to the gluteus medius. You can either rotate your leg to put more of an emphasis on the gluteus medius or keep it back to put more of an emphasis on the gluteus maximus.

Seated Hip Adductions

This is a straightforward exercise that uses a machine and focuses on the adductor muscles in your hips. Almost every fitness center will have this available to their members. If you don’t have this machine, it will be difficult to train the adductors adequately.

It is important to remember to keep the angle of your knees at 90 degrees and to maintain a range of motion that is appropriate for your mobility. Get off to a very slow start! If these muscles are weak and not used to doing the task that is being asked of them, it is quite easy to pull them.

Here are some alternatives for hip strengthening exercises for seniors. These exercises target the hip muscles and surrounding areas to improve stability, flexibility, and overall hip strength. Remember to start with gentle movements and progress gradually based on individual abilities:

Hip Marching

  • Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor and hands on the sides.
  • Lift one foot off the floor, bending at the hip, and bring the knee towards the chest.
  • Lower the foot back to the floor and repeat with the other leg.
  • Perform 10-15 marches on each leg.

Hip Extensions

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair, holding onto it for support.
  • Lift one leg backward, keeping the knee straight, and the back straight.
  • Lower the leg back down and repeat with the other leg.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions on each leg.

Side Leg Raises:

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair, holding onto it for support.
  • Lift one leg out to the side, keeping the knee straight, and the toes facing forward.
  • Lower the leg back down and repeat with the other leg.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions on each leg.


  • Lie on your side with your knees bent, feet together, and hips stacked.
  • Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee while keeping the feet in contact.
  • Lower the knee back down and repeat.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Standing Hip Circles

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair, holding onto it for support.
  • Lift one leg slightly off the ground and draw circles with your knee, making circles in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
  • Lower the foot back down and repeat with the other leg.
  • Perform 5-10 circles in each direction on each leg.

Hip Bridges

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your hips off the ground, engaging your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Hold for a few seconds and lower your hips back down.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions.

Remember to focus on controlled movements and proper form throughout the exercises. If any exercise causes discomfort or pain, it’s essential to stop and consult a healthcare professional or a certified fitness trainer for guidance. Additionally, seniors can perform these exercises 2-3 times per week, allowing for adequate rest between sessions.

The Safety Tips For Doing Hip Strengthening Exercises For seniors

Safety is paramount when it comes to performing hip strengthening exercises for seniors. Follow these tips to ensure a safe and effective workout:

  1. Consult a Healthcare Professional: Before starting any exercise program, seniors should consult their healthcare provider to assess their overall health and determine if hip strengthening exercises are appropriate for their individual needs and medical conditions.
  2. Warm-up: Always begin with a gentle warm-up to prepare the body for exercise. This can include light cardio, such as walking or stationary cycling, to increase blood flow to the muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
  3. Start Slowly: If the senior is new to hip strengthening exercises, start with basic movements and gradually progress to more challenging exercises as strength and flexibility improve.
  4. Use Proper Form: Proper form is crucial for preventing injuries and ensuring the targeted muscles are engaged. Seniors should perform exercises with controlled and deliberate movements, avoiding jerking or sudden motions.
  5. Use Stable Support: During exercises that require balance, it’s essential to have a stable support nearby, such as a sturdy chair or a wall, to hold onto if needed. This can help prevent falls and provide confidence during the exercises.
  6. Modify Exercises as Needed: Some seniors may have specific physical limitations or joint issues. If an exercise causes discomfort or pain, it’s important to modify or replace it with a more suitable alternative.
  7. Avoid Overexertion: Seniors should exercise at a comfortable intensity and avoid pushing themselves too hard. If they experience fatigue or pain, it’s time to stop and rest.
  8. Stay Hydrated: Encourage seniors to drink water before, during, and after exercise to stay adequately hydrated.
  9. Breathe Properly: Remind seniors to breathe steadily and rhythmically throughout each exercise. Holding the breath can lead to unnecessary strain.
  10. Cool Down: After completing the exercises, perform a gentle cool-down routine to gradually lower the heart rate and prevent dizziness or lightheadedness.
  11. Be Consistent: Regular and consistent practice is essential for making progress in hip strength and overall fitness. However, it’s equally important to allow for sufficient rest and recovery between workouts.
  12. Listen to the Body: Seniors should pay attention to their bodies and avoid pushing through pain or discomfort. If there’s any concern about a particular exercise or any unusual symptoms, they should seek guidance from a healthcare professional.

Remember that individual capabilities and limitations vary, so it’s essential to customize the exercise routine based on each senior’s specific needs and abilities. If available, working with a certified fitness trainer experienced in senior fitness can be beneficial to ensure exercises are appropriate and safe.


I really hope that reading about these exercises for the elderly to strengthen their legs and hips was enjoyable for you. If you have any inquiries, please leave a comment below, and I will do all in my power to answer them and assist you.

As you get older, it is vitally important for your health to keep the muscles and mobility in your hips in good shape. Your mobility, balance, and endurance will all suffer if your hips are weak and inflexible. Even over short distances, they may restrict your capacity to walk if the worst case situation plays out.

Larger muscles are necessary for strength training. Because the quantity of muscle mass is actually a predictor of lifespan in the elderly, you can see why it is prudent to keep your hips strong and the muscle mass as high as possible.

By enhancing circulation and correcting muscular imbalances, working on your hip strength can not only help with chronic hip pain but also lower back pain.

Therefore, give these suggestions a try to improve the strength and muscle mass in your hips so that you can lead a life that is both healthy and active as you get older.

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Why are hip strengthening exercises important for seniors?

Hip strengthening exercises are crucial for seniors as they help improve stability, balance, and mobility, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

Can seniors with mobility issues perform these exercises?

Yes, many hip strengthening exercises can be adapted to suit various mobility levels. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

How often should seniors perform hip strengthening exercises?

Seniors should aim for at least 2-3 sessions per week, allowing adequate rest between sessions to promote muscle recovery.

Are there any equipment requirements for these exercises?

Many hip strengthening exercises can be done with little to no equipment. Resistance bands or light weights may be helpful for some variations.

Do these exercises help alleviate hip pain in seniors?

Regular hip strengthening exercises can help reduce hip pain by strengthening supporting muscles and improving joint stability.

Can seniors combine hip strengthening exercises with other fitness routines?

Yes, incorporating hip strengthening exercises into an overall fitness regimen can lead to better results and improved overall health.

How soon can seniors expect to see results from these exercises?

Results vary depending on individual factors, but with consistent practice, seniors may start noticing improvements in strength and mobility within a few weeks.

Are there any precautions seniors should take while performing these exercises?

Seniors should perform exercises within their comfort zone, avoiding overexertion. If they experience pain or discomfort, they should stop and seek advice from a healthcare professional.

Can seniors perform these exercises at home, or should they join a fitness class?

These exercises can be done at home with minimal space and equipment. However, joining a fitness class may provide additional guidance and social support.

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