The Top 5 Hip Flexor Exercises for Seniors

The Top 5 Hip Flexor Exercises for Seniors

Hip flexor mobility is a vital part of overall body health and function. If your hip flexors are tight, they can cause lower back pain, neck pain, posture problems and of course hip pain. If your hip flexors are weak, that can cause many problems too. For instance, people with weak hip flexors start to find themselves stumbling or tripping over small items and struggling going up stairs or struggling to sit up and down. Weak hip flexors can change your knee path while walking or running cause undue stress on your knees or hip abductor and glutes. These top 5 hip flexor exercises for seniors are designed to increase your hip strength and flexibility and should be performed at least twice per week but can be used everyday.

See: Test for tight or weak hip flexors

The Top 5 Hip Flexor Exercises for Seniors

1. Lying Glute Bridges

hip flexor exercises for seniors

Lying Glute Bridge – Beginner

  • Start lying on your back with your arms either out to the sides or down by your thighs.
  • Bend your legs at 90 degrees with your hips bent at 45 degrees to keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Squeeze your abdominals and lift your hips to the ceiling.
  • Start with slow reps counting 2 seconds to rise to the top, hold the top for 2 seconds and lower in 2 seconds. Work up to 10 reps.
  • Start holding your last rep at the top working up to a 60 second hold on your 10th rep.
  • Once you can complete a 60 second glute bridge you will want to move onto the more advanced version doing the Lying Glute Bridge with Knee Grab
lying glute bridge for hip flexor strength and flexibility

Lying Glute Bridge with Knee Grab – Advanced

  • Start lying on your back with your arms either out to the sides or down by your thighs.
  • Bend your legs at 90 degrees with your hips bent at 45 degrees to keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Squeeze your abdominals and lift your hips to the ceiling and hold this top position throughout the exercise.
  • Now tuck one leg into your chest alternating legs without letting your hips drop. Start with a slow pace of 1 second in, 1 second hold and 1 second extension.
  • The higher you can keep your hips up and the tighter you can pull your knee to your chest the better.

2. Lunges

chair lunge exercise for seniors

Chair Lunge – Beginner

  • Start sitting on a chair or bench sideways.
  • Bend your front leg at 90 degrees putting your foot flat on the floor.
  • Extend your back leg straight off of the chair to open the hip flexor and feel the stretch.
  • Hold this for 20 seconds working up to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat this on the other side
hip flexor exercises for seniors

Standing Forward & Backward Lunges – Advanced

  • Start in a standing tall position with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Step forward with your right leg and your right heel should make contact with the ground first then your foot finishes facing straight forward.
  • Slowly lower your body until your right thigh is parallel with the floor and your knee goes forward to your foot but not past it.
  • Press into your right heel to stand back up to your starting position.
  • Now step backward with your right leg slowly lowering until your left thigh is parallel with the floor.
  • Press into your right toes to stand up and step forward back to the original starting position.

3. Hip Marches

hip flexor seated marches

Seated Hip Marches – Beginner

  • Start sitting upright in a chair with both feet flat on the ground.
  • Grab onto the chair on both sides.
  • Contract your abdominals and keep your chest upright.
  • Start by lifting your right knee as high as possible and putting it back down.
  • Immediately lift your left knee as high as possible and put it back down.
  • Continue this alternating lifting of your legs in a slow to moderate marching fashion.
  • Start with 10 reps per leg working up to sets of 25 reps per leg
standing hip flexor marches

Standing Hip Marches – Advanced

  • Start standing upright with both feet flat on the ground shoulder width apart.
  • Contract your abdominals and keep your chest upright.
  • Start by lifting your right knee as high as possible and putting it back down.
  • Immediately lift your left knee as high as possible and put it back down.
  • Continue this alternating lifting of your legs in a slow to moderate marching fashion.
  • Start with 10 reps per leg working up to sets of 25 reps per leg

4. Squats

chair squats

Chair Squats – Beginner

  • Start seated on a bench or the edge of a chair with your feet shoulder width apart facing forward with a slight turn-out
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of you shoulder height.
  • Squeeze abdominals, slightly lean forward keeping your chest open and upward
  • Press through your feet pushing your knees outward while standing up
  • Lower to the starting position to complete the rep. 
squats

Squats – Advanced

  • Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart facing forward with a slight turn-out
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of you shoulder height.
  • Squeeze abdominals bending down just like the chair squats keeping your chest open and upward.
  • Stop when the top of your thighs are parallel with the floor and then press through your feet pushing your knees outward while standing back up to the starting position.

5. Leg Scissors

lying scissor kicks

Scissor Kicks

  • Start lying flat on your back with your arms down by your thighs.
  • Contract your abs and lift both straight legs out in front of you 6 inches above the ground.
  • Start by lifting one leg 12 inches higher than your other leg.
  • Then alternate or scissor your legs.
  • Start with low reps broken up into multiple sets working up 100 reps in one turn.

Those top 5 hip flexor exercises for seniors should get you of to a great start. If you need more guidance or want to learn more details about how to stretch and strengthen your hip flexors I recommend this book. Hip Flexor Complete Guide by Quentin Garrison

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Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before following any of the exercises from this article and website. To avoid any problems while doing the exercises, it is advised that you consult a medical professional. The responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

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