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What are some exercises for my upper leg and hip muscles?

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Here are some exercises for your upper leg and butt muscles:

Monster Walk: Gluteus medius
  1. Place a resistance band or continuous exercise band just above your ankles.
  2. Place your feet approximately shoulder-width apart with gentle tension on the band. Engage your core. Slightly bend your knees and hips.
  3. Take a half step to the side with the right foot and then follow with a half step toward the right foot with the left. Maintain tension on the band at all times.
  4. Take ten steps to the right and then reverse to the left. Feel the burn in the top of your buttocks.
 Hip Raises on Exercise Ball: Butt, hamstrings, core
  1. Lie face up on the floor and place your lower legs on an exercise ball.
  2. Engage your core and squeeze your butt.
  3. Raise your hips off the floor so your body is straight from your shoulders to your knees.
  4. Hold at the top for five seconds and return to starting position.
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Two of my favorite exercises for the hips are multiplanar lunges and the single-leg squat. Multiplanar lunges are a series of lunges moving the 4 planes of motion, sagittal, oblique, frontal and transverse. To begin, stand with dumbbells in hands and feet shoulder width apart. Step forward with the left leg and go in to a lunge. Push off the left leg and return to the start position. Then step forward with the right leg and go in to a lunge position. Push off with the right foot and return to the start position. Next lunge will be at an oblique angle. To do this step outward at a forty-five degree angle with the left foot and go in to a lunge position. Push off to return to the start position. Repeat with the right leg. Next, keep toes facing forward and step out to the side, go to the lunge position and return to start position. Repeat on both sides. Finally, begin facing forward. Turn the body ninety degrees to the right as you lunge forward. Push off and return to the start position. Repeat on the other leg. Go through the series of lunges in all planes of motions five times.

The second exercise is the side-lying hip abduction. This exercise was shown in studies to be the most effective at targeting the gluteus medius muscle, which is responsible for controlling the hip. Begin by lying on your side. Lift the top leg to approximately 45 degrees and slowly return to the start position. Perform 12-15 slow and controlled repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.