Advanced hip & groin exercises

These exercises are more functional and sport specific. The aim is to restore full strength and mobility to the joint and return the athlete to full training and competition.


Alternate Leg Hip Extension

The alternate leg hip extension exercise is similar to a bridge but a little harder as it alternates weight between single legs.  The weight is rested between the forearms and heels as shown. The weight is then transferred from one leg to the other as the alternating leg is raised just off the floor. Try to keep the pelvis as still as possible throughout.

Muscles Worked:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings

Figure 4 Lift

The figure 4 lift exercise works the external hip rotators (sometimes also called lateral hip rotators) which are found in the buttocks. To strengthen the hip rotators, the athlete lies on their front with the leg to be stretched bent and the ankle under the other thigh. The athlete then lifts the bent knee as high as possible. It is then slowly lowered back to the floor/couch, before repeating the exercise.

Muscles Worked:

  • The Glutes
  • Piriformis
  • Sartorius

Good Mornings

Good mornings are a well-known exercise to strengthen the hip extensor muscles. Be careful with this one if you have a history of any back pain. The starting position is a shoulder-width stance, with the bar over the shoulders as shown. From here, the athlete bends forwards from the hips, keeping the lower back straight. Once parallel to the floor, the movement is reversed to stand upright again.

Muscles Worked:

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes

Walking Abduction with Band

Walking hip abduction is an exercise which uses a resistance band to strengthen the glute muscles and prevent the knees falling in when running and squatting etc. To work on the hip stabiliser muscles, a small resistance band is wrapped around both ankles. The athlete then moves one leg out to the side, whilst maintaining balance and stability as weight is transferred. This is repeated, walking to both sides as shown.

Muscles Worked:

  • Gluteus Medius
  • Gluteus Minimus

Wide Leg Squat

Performing a squat in a wide leg position works the adductor muscles (groin) more than a conventional squat. The starting position for a wide leg squat is with the feet more than shoulder width apart and the toes pointing outwards. From here the athlete bends both knees, keeping back straight. Ideally, the knee should reach a right angle (90 degrees), but if not this is something you can work on. Don't go past a right angle. Make sure the knees do not more in front of the toes, keep your weight over the midfoot and heel.

Muscles Worked:

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Groin muscles

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Hip & Groin Stretching

Hip and Groin stretching exercises including standing groin stretch, long adductor stretch, piriformis Stretch and hip flexor stretch.

Early stage hip & groin exercises

These exercises are often done as soon as possible after injury if the pain will allow. The aim is to restore range of motion without putting any damaged tissues under stress. The exact exercises...

Mid stage hip & groin exercises

During the mid-stage exercises progress to gentle strengthening, gradually increasing the load on the joint and through the recovering tissues. Balance and proprioception training usually begins.