Fully Functional Hips in 15 Minutes

The HH10 Program

The Hip Health 10 (HH10) program was designed to optimize hip health. It involves 10 supplementary exercises that address the three most significant causes of preventable hip problems:

  • Decreased strength
  • Increased fatigue
  • Lack of mobility

Here's what to remember:

  • Maintain strict form.
  • Mentally focus on the working muscles in each exercise.
  • Many of the exercises use a blue, medium-tension NT Loop Mini Band. You can choose to use the heavier (green) mini band as long as it allows you to perform the minimal number of reps indicated while maintaining proper control and technique.
  • Go as far as you can into the top of the range of motion on each exercise without forcing it.
  • If an exercise causes pain or discomfort beyond the sensation associated with muscle fatigue, just skip it and move on to the next exercise.

Do one set of each of the following exercises, back-to-back, resting as little as possible (no more than 60 seconds rest between exercises).

1. Side-Lying Hip Adduction

I've included both this exercise and the next one because research shows that hip adductor strength – or lack of it – is one of the most common risk factors for groin injury in sport.

Perform 12 to 15 reps on each side.

2. Side-Lying Hip Internal-Rotation with Adduction

Rotational sports such as golf, tennis, and boxing demand optimal internal rotation of the hips to wind up and deliver a powerful strike. A lack of internal hip rotation can not only inhibit your performance, it can also cause unwanted stress on your knees and lower back because those areas are being asked to do what the hips should've been doing in the first place.

Do 8 to 10 reps on each side.

3. Superdog with External Hip Rotation

The superdog is an exercise I developed to isolate the glutes better than birddogs or glute kickbacks while also eliminating your ability to cheat by using your lower back.

You can do this move using bodyweight or with an NT Loop Mini Band. I recommend using the blue band, which is the medium tension.

Perform 12 to 15 reps on each side.

4. Dynamic Pigeon to Strider

The pigeon stretch is a great yoga-based stretch for the piriformis. However, a lot of people aren't able to lift their leg up and underneath their torso to get an effective piriformis stretch without cheating (by flexing at the spine).

This version is not only easier to perform, it also ensures you do so properly by getting the range of motion at your HIPS and not at your spine. Plus, the dynamic movement element helps you build strength in the stretch by creating eccentric loading.

Bonus: This one just feels great on your hips, especially since it stretches your glutes in the opposite direction that they were stretched in the preceding exercise.

Do 8 to 10 reps on each side.

5. Quadruped Straight-Leg Hip Abduction

You'll feel this exercise plenty by just using bodyweight, but using a medium-strength mini band really fires up the glute medius.

Perform 12 to 15 reps on each side.

6. Supine 90/90 Hip Internal Rotation

Another great internal hip exercise that serves as a nice complement to exercise number two because it involves considerably different body positioning.

Perform 12 to 15 reps on each side.

7. Lateral Shuffle

This is the most commonly seen exercise of the bunch because it's great for training the glute medius, which some people call the "upper glutes." But there are many ways to do this one incorrectly, which I highlight in the video. Use the blue mini here, too.

Do 20 to 30 steps in each direction.

8. Plank March

This move not only brings in the abs, it trains the one hip motion yet to be addressed by any of the above exercises – hip flexion.

Perform 10 to 12 reps on each side

9. One-Leg Hip Bridge

Even if you're a hip thrust champ, you'll be surprised how much this little exercise challenges you – even when you're not using a heavy load. This is because it creates a very different demand on your hips than a hip thrust. You end up working your hip flexors on your elevated-leg side to resist the band from pulling your knee down while working on hip extension on the down leg.

This reciprocal hip action, sometimes called "hip separation," is similar to what's happening when you run, as one hip is flexing and lifting up your leg in front of you while the other leg is extending and driving your leg behind you to propel you forward.

I recommend switching to the green NT Loop mini, which is the heaviest tension band.

Perform 15 to 20 reps on each side.

10. Low Linear Walk

This move is a great way to bring it all home because it trains a lot of the hip musculature at different angles than the previous exercises. For instance, the bent-leg position, along with the forward walk, trains your hips differently than the straight-legged lateral walk done in exercise number seven.

Do 20 to 30 steps on each side in each direction. Alternate between doing 4 to 10 steps forward and then 4 to 10 steps backwards until you've reached the total number of reps on each leg.

The HH10 requires only your bodyweight and a set of mini bands, so all of the exercises can be performed any time and any place.

These exercises are ideally matched with NT Loop Mini Bands because their lightweight fabric design makes them much more comfortable, stable, and durable than traditional rubber latex bands.

How Often Should I Do It?

No fewer than two times a week but no more than 5 times per week.

When Should I Do It?

  • Prior to your sport practice as an effective pre-performance warm-up.
  • As active recovery between your strength and conditioning workouts
  • As a workout cooldown, after you've performed traditional compound and isolation exercises.

How Long Does It Take to Do It?

Once you're familiar with how to properly perform each exercise, it should take you no more than 15 minutes.

The exercises in the HH10 have been carefully sequenced in a way that makes the most logistical sense. All of the exercises transition smoothly from one to another, which makes them easy to memorize while maximizing your training time.

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