7 Best Hip Mobility Exercises For the Elderly

The elderly can improve their hips by exercising. (Image via unsplash/Matteo Vistocco)
The elderly can improve their hips by exercising. (Image via unsplash/Matteo Vistocco)
Aryan Bajaj

Healthy hips are the hallmark of good health. There are many difficulties that come with ageing. As we age, our joints become stiffer and less flexible. That makes it harder to move around, especially if you have other conditions like arthritis or spinal stenosis.

Hip mobility exercises are a great way to keep your hips healthy and mobile as you get older. These exercises can be done anywhere—at home, at the gym and even while watching TV.

Best Hip Mobility Exercises For Elderly

Here's a list of seven of our favourite hip mobility exercises:

1) Side-Lying Hip Abduction

Side-lying hip abduction is a great exercise for people with low mobility. It helps keep the glutes active and improves their strength, which can help prevent falls. This exercise also improves pelvic alignment, which is important for stability and preventing pain.

The major muscles that work in side-lying hip abduction are the gluteus medius and minimus (along with other smaller muscles).

To do this exercise:

  • Lie down on your left side, with your back flat against the floor and knees bent at 90 degrees so that they form right angles in line with your hips.
  • Place a foam roller under your right leg (or use any other object that's roughly six inches in diameter), keeping it just above or below the knee joint depending on how flexible you are; if you're very flexible, put it higher up so that it doesn't put pressure on an already sensitive area like when doing squats).
  • Lift your right leg off of the floor till it's perpendicular to both sides of your body.
  • Hold there for three seconds before lowering slowly back down again.
  • Repeat ten times per side at least once daily as part of an overall mobility routine involving other exercises too.


2) Prone Hip Internal Rotation

Prone hip internal rotation is a movement where you lie on your stomach, with your arms supporting your weight and legs extended straight in front of you. Lift one leg up to the side till it's parallel to the ground while keeping the opposite foot on the floor.

There are many benefits of performing prone hip internal rotation exercises:

  • It helps relieve pain from sciatica. The gluteus medius muscle has an important role in stabilising your hips and pelvis. If it weakens or becomes stiffer over time due to lack of use, that can cause problems like having trouble walking or how far forward you can go when sitting.
  • It improves balance and coordination because of its focus on balance control while also working other muscles simultaneously, such as abs/lower back area.
  • It increases blood flow throughout body, which helps keep organs healthy along with improving mental health conditions, such as depression by increasing serotonin levels in the brain tissue.
  • It increases flexibility throughout the body, as our joints move more freely when doing this exercise. That could lead them not being stiff anymore than they already were before doing these movements regularly over time.


3) Standing Hip Extension

The standing hip extension is a great exercise for both hip extension and flexion. This exercise helps improve your overall mobility and flexibility, as well as strengthen the muscles in the hips, glutes and lower back, which are all essential for maintaining healthy movement.

Here's how it's done:

  • Begin by standing tall, with feet shoulder width apart
  • Bend at the waist till you can grasp both hands behind one of your knees, keeping it as close to your chest as possible
  • Slowly raise up while still holding onto this position.


4) Sidelying Hip External Rotation

Here's how it's done:

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. Straighten your top leg while keeping it in line with your hips.
  • Grasp a small dumbbell in one hand, and hold it at arm's length by the side of your body, so that it's parallel to the ground and pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Gently lift up through an arching motion till you feel a stretch in the front of your hip; lower back down without losing tension till you feel a stretch again.
  • Perform two sets of 10–12 reps each side for three sets per day for two weeks before switching to other exercises for this muscle group.

To make this exercise easier: Use less weight or reduce range of motion till you're comfortable performing regular movements; To make this exercise harder: Add more weight or increase range of motion once comfortable performing regular movements.


5) Knee to Chest

This is a great exercise for the elderly, as it improves flexibility, strength and coordination. It also strengthens the hips, hamstrings, quads and glutes.

To do this move:

Lie on your back with both feet flat on the floor or yoga mat. Bend both knees and bring them in towards your chest so that you can grab them (if you cannot reach your knees or are too weak to do so, don't worry about grabbing them).

  • Lift one foot off of the floor, and extend it straight out in front of you till it's aligned with your other leg's knee (it should look like a 'T"'shape at this point).
  • Lower your extended leg slowly back down till it rests flat against the other before repeating the same with the other leg.


6) Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch is a great way to improve your hip flexion and mobility. It's also one of the most common stretches for those who sit for long periods of time.

Here's how it's done:

  • Start in a kneeling position with both knees up, one foot planted on the floor and the other knee bent behind you.
  • Bring your knee forward while keeping your hips square. You should feel this stretch along the side of your leg where it meets your torso.
  • Pushing down on that bent knee with both hands, pull it back till you feel a nice stretch in front of you as well as at the back of your thigh (this should be felt more on top than on bottom).
  • Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides.


7) Standing Hip Flexion

Stand on one leg, and hold the other leg, keeping the knee straight. Bend your standing leg so that you are squatting down, but keep your pelvis level.

Bring your bent knee towards your chest till it's perpendicular to the floor (about 90 degrees). Hold for two seconds, and return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times before switching to the other side.



In this article, we have provided you a list of seven exercises you can use to improve your hip mobility.

These exercises are great for those who're looking to improve their flexibility, strength and balance as they get older. However, it's important to note that these exercises should only be done under the supervision of a professional before attempting them at home on your own.

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Edited by Bhargav


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