Four exercises to help strengthen and relieve hip and lower back pain

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Sitting at a computer all day or simply not getting up to move can result in hip and lower back  pain.  But Carlos Rivas, the Director of Health and Wellbeing at Proformance, LLC says  there are four exercises you can do to stretch and strengthen your hips and prevent injuries. 

Exercising after injury or surgery will also help you return to daily activities and enjoy a healthier and active lifestyle.  The hip flexors are the group of muscles that allow you to lift your knees toward your chest and bend forward from the hips.  

Tight hip flexors are a common problem among those of us who spend a great deal of the day sitting at a work.  When you spend a lot of time in a seated position, the hip flexors remain in a shortened position. Over time, the muscles surrounding the hips become tight and weak which can lead to pain and injury. 

Tight hip flexors can result in lower back pain, hip pain and injury.  A lot of strain is put on those muscles during activities that involve sprinting and kicking.  For example, runners are more prone to hip flexor injuries because of the small, repetitive movement during running.   But even if you're not an athlete, hip flexor injuries can occur during everyday activities (for example, slipping and falling or running to catch a bus).  When those tight muscles are suddenly stretched beyond what they are accustomed to, you might also experience pain in the upper groin region, typically where the hip meets the pelvis.  

Simple hip strengthening and stretching exercises can help prevent the muscles from becoming tight, therefore decreasing your risk of injury and discomfort.  

Incorporate the following exercises into your routine 2-3 times per week.

-Standing hip abduction with or without band: Standing tall, raise your leg away from your body with a smooth and controlled motion and return to starting position.  Repeat for 12-15 repetitions

-Standing hip adduction with or without band:  Standing tall, move your leg across the body as if you were to kick a soccer ball.  Repeat for 12-15 repetitions

-Lying down double leg bridge or single leg bridge:  Lying down onto your back, knees bent, and feet flat lift your hips up while squeezing the glutes. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then lower the hips down to the floor.  Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.

-Lying down Hip abduction with band: Lying down onto your back while placing both legs into a circular band at the knee level, bend knees with feet flat onto the ground, begin to move the knees away from each other working against the tension provided by the band and then resist tension as you bring the knees back together while holding the band in place.  Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.

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About Carlos Rivas: 

Carlos Rivas, MS, CSCS is the Director of Health and Wellbeing @ ProFormance Fitness, LLC and FitCorp, LLC. He holds bachelor's degrees in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine and a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology. Carlos is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, National Strength and Conditioning Certified Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness editor for Kentuckiana Health and Fitness Magazine, Strength and Conditioning instructor for the University of Louisville Exercise Science Program. Carlos can be reached by e-mail: or 502.741.9428

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