I Sit All Day, So I Tried This Routine To Mobilize And Strengthen My Hips

Woman performs couch stretch in gym
(Image credit: The Good Brigade / Getty Images)

I spend a lot of time sitting down, especially at my desk, and as the end of the working day approaches, my hips often begin to ache. Since working from home full-time, I’ve noticed that my hips are a lot tighter during exercise, too.

For these reasons, I’m trying to incorporate more hip stretches, hip mobility exercises and strength exercises into my routine. This routine from personal trainer Milad Ebadat, co-founder of Tailored Fit PT, is a fairly short sequence that focuses on increasing hip flexibility, as well as strengthening the muscles responsible for hip flexion and hip extension.

I decided to try it on my lunch break to incorporate some movement into my day and take a break from sitting at my desk. Take a look at Edabat’s Instagram Reel below where he demonstrates each of the movements.

The routine starts with two dynamic stretches to warm up: hip swivels, which I often do before leg workouts, and hip CARs which take the hip through its entire range of motion. Edabat explains in the video that it’s important to keep your spine stable throughout the hip CARs, ensuring all of the movement comes from the hips. 

Next come two strength exercises you may well be familiar with—the hip thrust and Bulgarian split squat. I often do hip thrusts to build muscle in the glutes but Edabat explains that it’s also a great way to improve hip extension too. If you’re not familiar with this exercise, take a look at our hip thrusts exercise guide, where personal trainer Andrew Reay shares some form tips, such as tucking your chin down to your chest which “keeps you in a position where you can’t overextend.”

Coach also has a Bulgarian split squat exercise guide, which features a good trick for getting into the starting position with less hopping around. 

I performed 12 reps of each of these exercises for 3 sets with a 10kg weight. I focused on moving with control rather than rushing through each rep. How many reps you decide to do should depend on your experience with each movement. Start conservatively and aim for the final few reps of each set to pose a challenge, but not be a struggle to complete.

The routine ends with the couch stretch. I held this position for a minute on each leg and felt a deep stretch in both of my hips.

I felt far more comfortable sitting back down at my desk after this routine, but I know I need to incorporate exercises like these into my routine to make a permanent improvement to my hip strength and mobility. But everyone starts somewhere.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.