Exercises & Stretches to Relieve Hip Joint Pain at Home

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rajeshwari Panda
Written by Shivani Arora, last updated on 7 November 2022| min read
Exercises & Stretches to Relieve Hip Joint Pain at Home

Quick Summary

  • Hip pains a common problem that can occur due to a variety of causes, including age, overuse, and other conditions
  • Symptoms of hip pain can include pain in the buttocks, groin, or thigh, as well as difficulty walking, stiffness, and decreased range of motion
  • Treatment for hip pain may include rest, ice, heat, massage, physical therapy, and medication
  • In some cases, surgery may be necessary
Hip pain is one of the most common problems encountered in India. It refers to the pain in the hip joint, which consists of bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. With age or overuse, these musculoskeletal tissues can undergo wear and tear, leading to hip pain. It can also occur due to other conditions like fractures, hip bursitis (inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac in the joints), etc.

Hip pain commonly occurs in the buttocks region due to the involvement of the hip joint. Problems arising at joints are often unbearable, and it's essential to take corrective measures before they start taking an evil turn. Trouble at the hip joint is an issue of concern and must not be ignored. 

Offering strength combined with flexibility could help ease pain at the hip joint. It could potentially cease mobility accompanied by unendurable pain. Also, regularly practising a particular set of exercises is an effective way of relieving hip pain.

Role of Exercises in Hip Pain

Exercise is considered to be the natural remedy that makes use of the body's self-healing power. When it comes to resolving hip pain, there are a few sets of exercises found to be helpful. Have a look at how they work:  
  1. Tension built in the buttocks muscles usually triggers the pain. Gentle stretches or exercises work at releasing the tension in these muscles of the hip region, reducing the pain significantly. 
  2. The slow, steady, and strength-filled exercise moves help at increasing mobility and reduce stiffness. 
  3. Along with restoring strength, the exercises also improve blood circulation. Regularised blood flow eventually results in relieving the pain. 
  4. The enhanced breathing during the exercises contributes to elevating the oxygen level in the blood, which again is a good sign for soothing hip pain. 
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Benefits of Exercises on Hip Pain

Hip pain is usually induced due to the uncomfortable moving, jerking, or stretching in the buttock muscles and not due to underlying severe diseases or health complications. Thus, exercise appears to be a decent remedy for relief. Besides this, there are a few more benefits of treating hip pain with activities, they are as follows: 
  1. It's a 100% natural solution to relieve hip pain, thus, it does not have side effects, unlike other harmful alternatives. 
  2. It's a kind of physical therapy that involves no invasive procedure. Thus, one need not encounter the painful intruding treatments, which are at times more bitter than the hip pain itself. 
  3. Along with relieving the hip pain, the exercises restore mobility in other joints of the body too. Also, they help maintain a good weight and provide more energy to live a balanced life. 
  4. Lastly, hip joint pain exercises are easy and cost-effective.

Exercises to Relieve Hip Pain

Stand and Extend 

One simple but effective hip joint pain exercise is standing hip extension. It targets the lower body and offers strength and flexibility to the hip and the muscles in the thigh area. It's incredibly easy to perform and could be great for beginners.
All it employs is moving the leg in and out and having a straight posture facing the chair, which should be kept in the front.
The chair acts as a support, and the exercise should be done by placing one leg straight and moving the other leg behind, holding the position for a few minutes.
  1. Stand on your feet, keeping both legs straight and hands on the surface of the support. Use a chair for support.
  2. Slowly stretch the affected leg backward, intending a slight tightening pressure in the buttocks region.
  3. Keep the posture straight. Do not bend the body in the forward or backward direction. 
  4. Repeat the movements with another leg for 10 to 15 reps.

Calm and Do Clams 

Clams of Clamshell exercises help stabilise the pelvic muscles and strengthen the hips and thighs. A desirable advantage of this exercise is it can be done anywhere as it requires minimal space. Also, it is recognised as one of the best hip pain exercises that provide strength, prevent injuries, and assist in treatments too. 
While performing this exercise, one crucial thing to remember is to ensure that the neck should be in a neutral position, the rotations are from the hip and not the lower back, and the core stays engaged. There are numerous variations in the clamshell exercises; some can even be done with resistance bands, dumbbells, ball crunch, etc. 
  1. Lie on either side, keeping the knees bent and stacked on each other. 
  2. Support the neck with one arm while keeping the other in the rested position or using it for supporting the posture.
  3. Keep the ankles together, and lift the knee of the top leg away from the bottom.  
  4. Tighten the muscles in the abdominal region to some extent. 
  5. Repeat the moves a couple of times. 
  6. Lie on the other side, and repeat the same stretches.

Lift Side by Side 

If we talk about an exercise for hip and lower back pain, the sideways hip lift is an apt one that brilliantly works on the respective muscles with minimal risks. It is also known as standing side leg raises and is immensely versatile in that one can do it anytime, anywhere. The sideways hip lift is ideal for injuries or pain in the hip, knees, or lower back. Not just that, along with stabilising the hips, this exercise also works at assuring better muscle endurance.
Further, there are variations in the side leg raise exercises; but it's always better to begin with the simplest one, i.e. the standing side leg raises. Also, supporting the posture with the help of a chair would assist in adopting more stability. 
  1. Start by standing on the feet straight, supporting them with the chair's surface. 
  2. Lift one leg off the floor with the foot flexed and shift the body's weight over the other. 
  3. While exhaling, bring the lifted leg near the one resting on the floor. 
  4. Repeat the moves a couple of times and repeat the exercise with another leg. 

Squat it Out 

A squat is a body resistance exercise that specifically targets the muscles of the lower body, i.e. core, legs, and lower back. It is one of the functional exercises for the hip, which calls for strength and deep stability of the hips(2). Though squats are a little painful, they are not responsible for other complications, provided they are correctly practised. 
This begins with a proper posture, standing on the feet with the lower body pointing in the forward direction. While pushing the hips back, one must bend the knees and tip the chest a little ahead. Raise back to stand once the body reaches the ground, assisted by heels. Ensuring that the knee stays above the ankle at the squat position is essential. 
  1. Stand on the feet with toes facing the front. The feet should be placed a little wider than the hip width. 
  2. Bend the knees, pressing them slightly open and driving the hip region back. 
  3. Reach downward so that the knees are bent to make a 90-degree angle and the thighs are parallel to the stretched arms.
  4. Return to the primary position slowly, and repeat 10-15 times.

Bridge the Pain; Try Bridging

Bridging is another simple exercise for hip pain and lower back pain. This exercise helps restore flexibility and strengthen the lower back regions, running down to the pelvic area. It's better to practice bridging while lying on the bed and not on the floor.
The beauty of the bridging exercise lies in the fact that there is no limitation of age or fitness level, and anyone can perform it.  Thus, making bridging moves part of your routine would be the simplest way to let go of the pain in the hip region. 

  1. Lie on the back, resting the hands and back on the ground. 
  2. Slowly raise your hips, including the lower back, so that it makes a straight line all over the hips, thighs, and lower back. 
  3. Hold the position for about 30 seconds. Squeeze the core, and feel the tightness in the abdominal region and the buttock muscles.
  4. Slowly lower the hip to return to the initial position. Repeat the moves a few times.

Sit to Stand 

Sit to stand, though it sounds silly, is an exercise with known benefits of furnishing enhanced muscular strength and reducing the firm demand for movement in the lower body, particularly in the elderly. This exercise is easy to perform, and there are hardly any efforts involved. It requires a chair and a few minutes from the daily routine to help one achieve sound relief from hip pain. 
This hip bone pain exercise is done to engage one to stand with a proper posture, sit with a slight bend on the chair and then rise again. Repetition of these movements for a few minutes should be combined with other exercises. Also, it is essential to know that during the sitting stance of this exercise, one is expected to touch the seat and rise quickly, i.e. do not sit for longer.

  1. Have a sturdy chair behind you and stand straight, placing the feet at a distance more than the shoulder width. 
  2. Sit on the front edge of the chair by pushing the hips slightly behind and slightly bending the knees. 
  3. Stand up, feeling the body weight on the legs. 
  4. Repeat the moves ten times ( 2 to 3 sets).

Fix it with Donkey Kicks 

Out of the many hip pain exercises, the donkey kick is the one that not only relieves the pain in the hip joint but also helps tone and strengthens the glutes. It provides more firmness in the buttocks region and works on the overall muscles of the lower body. 
Moreover, donkey kicks isolate the movements and increase the strength of the hips. While performing this exercise, it is vital to ensure that the back stays firm and not sagging. Also, one must see that the press is from the gluteal region and that the movements are smooth. No jerks at all! 

  1. Pose as a cat pose, i.e. getting on the ground, with hands, knees and toes touching the floor. 
  2. Squeeze the glute region, and kick back with one leg.
  3. Bend the knee and bring the leg to its original position. 
  4. Repeat the kicks with the other leg ten times (2 to 3 sets). 

Let Pain Fly with a Butterfly. 

Butterfly stretches are one of the recommended hip bone pain exercises, which are found to be efficiently helpful at releasing the tightness in the hip region. It offers flexibility and reduces tension in the lower body areas, such as the hips, lower back, and inner thighs.  
Also, it strengthens the pelvic floor by boosting blood circulation in the surrounding areas.
Though it caters to benefits, it's valuable to know that the moves should be performed smoothly and slowly so that no harm is done to the body.  

  1. Sit on the floor, making the soles of the feet touch each other with gentle pressure. 
  2. Try to move the feet as closer to the hip as possible. 
  3. Keep the posture straight and inhale, stretching the length of the spine. 
  4. While exhaling, relax the elongated spine and rest in the position. 
  5. Maintain the pose for about 1 minute, practising the deep breaths. 
  6. Repeat the stretch a few times more. 

Ready Steady March 

Hip marching is a painless and easy hip pain exercise that helps at offering flexibility as well as strength in the thighs and the hip region. Slow and steady hip marching for a few minutes is a potential remedy for hip pain. 
It involves sitting on a chair in an upright position, holding the sides with the chair for stability, and marching in place with smooth movements. 

  1. Sit on a comfortable chair with a straight posture. Hold the chair with the hands on either side for support (optional). 
  2. Keep the knee bend and raise a leg as high as possible. 
  3. Control the action and slowly get the leg back to its initial position. 
  4. Raise the other leg similarly. 
  5. Repeat the moves with both legs several times. 

Knee to Chest

The knee-to-chest exercise pertains to the strengthening of the muscles in the hip and the lower back. Improving flexibility and decreasing the stiffness in the hip and the knees, the knee-to-chest moves are worth trying for hip joint pain episodes.
While performing this exercise, one must lie on the back, bend the knees, and pull them towards the chest, holding the posture for at least 5 seconds each time. The knee-to-chest movements are usually suggested to be done three times in the exercise routine for better results.    

  1. Lie on the back, extending the legs, keeping the hips and the lower back on the floor. 
  2. Bend the knees, locking with the hands and bringing them closer to the chest.
  3. Hold the position for about 5-10 seconds and perform deep breaths. 
  4. Slowly release the knees and get back to the initial position. 
  5. Repeat this stretch a few times. 

Things to Remember While Doing Exercises for Hip Pain

Hip pain exercises are beneficial in taking off discomfort and improving mobility. However, there are a few things that one must keep in mind while performing these exercises; they are: 
  1. Some exercises could do wonders for the pain; some could even contribute to taking the pain at the worst stage. It's important to know which exercises work fine with an individual's body and incorporate only those in the routine. 
  2. Follow the instructions religiously while performing the exercises as a wrong shift or posture could invite adverse episodes such as muscle sprain, muscle tear, or even bone fracture.  
  3. While performing certain exercises, one must know one's withstanding limits and stick to them. This is because stretching beyond one's permissible will could negatively affect health.

Lifestyles Changes to Relieve Hip Pain

A few simple yet effective lifestyle changes not only help in relieving the pain but also assist in preventing its advent later in life. Lifestyle change suggestions that could help relieve the hip pain are: 
  1. Maintaining a proper posture throughout the day, especially while sitting. It would be better to avoid sitting with crossed legs for a prolonged time. 
  2. Never put weight on one hip while standing, rather, stand appropriately so that the weight gets distributed on either side. 
  3. Maintain proper body weight by eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly.
  4. Be active and go walking or simply try to walk more steps a day. 
  5. Get proper sleep in a comfortable position so that the hips and the lower back are relaxed.


One can try performing simple and versatile moves initially. Gradually, setting a proper exercise routine to reach a stage where the pain diminishes significantly. Along with consistency, it is also crucial to stay safe while performing such exercises. One must know their saturation limit and never push themselves above it. 

Also, it's good to observe which hip joint pain exercises suit the best and only include those in the workout norm. However, it is always better to seek the practitioner's suggestion before beginning an exercise routine to avoid uncertainties. Further, if the hip pain persists for longer, then consulting the doctor is the only and best solution. 

Our team of doctors at HexaHealth consists of experienced and qualified professionals who are apt at proficiently dealing with such problems. Get in touch with us and avail the free appointment!

Frequently Asked Questions

There are numerous exercises to relieve hip pain, suggesting one would not be fair to the others. But, to name a few, Bridging, Squats, Butterfly pose, and so on are worth trying. Also, trying sets of a few different exercises is always better for effective results. 
Applying ice or massaging the area with the ice pack helps instantly reduce pain. However, instant relief usually stays for a short time, and the pain surges again as soon as the effect of the remedy subsides. 
Exercises for hip pain and lower back can sometimes cause temporary discomfort or soreness in the lower body; however, when the body gets used to it, they no longer feel troublesome. Though if the soreness persists without working out or for a longer time, it's better to bestow some rest on the body. 
Hip pain often causes sleepless nights, so it's vital to consider exercises to relieve hip pain as early as possible. The ideal position to sleep is on the back; however, if you prefer sleeping on the sides, choose the one where the pain does not exist or its intensity is less. 
You must consider sitting in the upright position with straight shoulders on a comfortable chair equipped with adjustments for height and back support. 
Your hip pain is on the severe side when the following signs are visible: 
  1. Pain strives suddenly with high intensity
  2. Discomfort stays longer
  3. Visible bruising near the joint or visible deformities 
Arthritis in the hip is characterised by pain in the groin region covering either side of the hips and buttocks. Also, sometimes a little pain can be felt in the knees. 
Deep squats, repetitive hip flexions, or movements involving more pressure on the lower body are the hip joint pain exercises you must avoid. 
Yes. A chiropractor is helpful in determining the cause of hip pain by assessing the hip joint and the areas around it.  
The 10 effective hip strengthening exercises to relieve hip pain are:  
  1. Standing hip extension 
  2. Bridging 
  3. Donkey kicks 
  4. Squats 
  5. Sit to stand 
  6. Butterfly pose 
  7. Hip Marching 
  8. Knee to chest 
  9. Sideways hip lift
  10. Clams
Yes, walking is one of the best hip bone pain exercises. Walking every day for a few minutes could cure arthritic problems too.  
The one-leg test for hip pain requires one to stand on a single leg for a minute. If one cannot endure standing for at least 60 seconds, it's an indication that it's time to consult a doctor or consider therapy.  
Your hip needs replacement when you begin to feel extreme pain in the hips and thighs, accompanied by joint swelling and movement restriction. 
True hip pain is felt in the overall area that covers the hip joint. This includes the area of the outer buttocks, groin, and upper thigh.

Updated on : 7 November 2022

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Rajeshwari Panda

Dr. Rajeshwari Panda

MSc Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Certified National Diabetic Educator

6 Years Experience

Dr Rajeshwari Panda is a well-known Dietitian currently associated with SRV Hospital, Chembur. She has 6 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics and worked as an expert dietitian in different cities in India. She has worked i...View More


Shivani Arora

Shivani Arora

BA Journalism and Mass Communication

2 Years Experience

She is an accomplished new-age professional who has interviewed prominent personalities such as Bhaichung Bhutia, G. Sathiyan, Shashi Tharoor, etc. A content writer interested in health communication, graphic desi...View More

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