Hip pain can be tied to many different things. Using exercises that lead to overstretching or under-strengthening any aspect of your hips can then be hard on your knees, ankles, and low back. To get your hips in proper alignment, striving for strength as well as the flexibility is key.
Staying limber is critical to good health, but being overly stretchy without strength can be tough on your cartilage, which can lead to bone wear over time.
In addition to keeping your hip flexors loose, make sure you keep the muscles along the sides of your hips strong.
Not Working Side to Side
To work the gluteus medius, you can add hip abduction exercises to your routine. Standing straight, grab a barre or a countertop and extend the foot to the side with the leg straight.
Hold for two seconds, then cross over in front of the standing leg for two more seconds. Do ten reps, then switch sides.
Overworking the Glutes
If you are working your glutes to strengthen your hips and struggling with hip pain after working out, stop clenching.
The glutes will engage as needed on their own. Overworking them can actually cause the hip musculature to be out of balance and lead to a lot of discomfort.
Doing Too Much Weight Bearing Work
Weight-bearing exercise is critical for joint health. However, if you are doing too much weight-bearing work, your hips and low back can take a real pounding.
If hip pain is a challenge, consider walking or jogging in place in the pool. The deeper you go, the more weight you will take off your joints.
Split up your footwork with stretching while your lower back is supported with the buoyancy of the water for even better results.
Bicycling is often recommended for those with joint pain. Consider keeping a journal and tracking your post-workout pain after cycling.
While it may take pressure off your knees and ankles, the wrong seat can actually lead to even more hip pain. Be ready to try a couple of different seats for the most comfortable cycling experience.
Watch Your Alignment on Lunges
Many of us feel better after working out, especially if we have some osteoarthritis. However, we can also make small adjustments in our alignment that can actually make joint pain worse.
If your hips hurt, consider not going so deep on your lunges unless working with a personal trainer because you may be leaning or twisting the knee joint too far toward the big toe. This can pinch the inside of the hip joint and may lead to bursitis.
If need be, take a break from lunges and do some marching with knees nice and high to reestablish the line between the knee and the big toe. Keep your foot flexed, toes pointed forward, so you can watch that alignment.
Your hips are easy to strengthen from the back but harder to work from the sides and front. Additionally, problems in the low back and the knee may actually not hurt there, but they can show up as hip pain.