Exercises to Improve an Unstable Hip︱IMPACT Physical Therapy

Exercises to Improve an Unstable Hip

Hip instability and pain is common for anyone who sits in one place for long periods of time, as lack of mobility contributes to stiffness and discomfort. Try our top three unable hip exercises to build strength and flexibility, and get back to enjoying your favorite everyday activities. 

Hip Circles

Your hips are a ball-and-socket joint, so moving them in a circular motion is one of the best unstable hip exercises. For extra stability, have a chair or countertop near by to hang onto. 

  1. Stand tall with your hands on your hips. 
  2. Put your weight on your right foot and straighten your left leg, picking it up off the floor. 
  3. While keeping your leg lifted, trace an invisible circle on the floor, moving your leg in a clockwise motion. After 20 circles, change to counterclockwise circles. 
  4. Set your left leg down and repeat on the right leg. 

Toy Soldiers

This full-body active stretch is great for loosening up the hamstrings and quads, as well as addressing hip instability. 

  1. Stand tall with your arms stretched out in front of you, palms down. 
  2. Without bending at the hips, swing your right leg up without bending at the knee, kicking towards your palm. Your foot does not need to touch your hand; swing within a comfortable range of motion. 
  3. Lower your right leg and repeat with the left. 
  4. Repeat on both sides multiple times. 

As you build flexibility, try touching your opposite hand with your opposite toe to deepen the stretch. 


Not only do clamshells help work on hip stability, they also build strength in your thighs, glutes, and pelvic muscles. This unstable hip exercise also helps relieve pressure in your back. 

  1. Lie down on your right side, propping your head up with your right arm. 
  2. Bend your knees and make sure they are stacked on top of each other. 
  3. While keeping your leg bent, raise your left leg up as high as you can, pausing at the top. Lower down slowly and repeat several times. 
  4. Switch to the left side of your body and repeat with the other leg. 

For an extra challenge, try sliding a resistance band up around your thighs. This will strengthen your muscles while deepening the stretch. 

Learn More Unstable Hip Exercises with IMPACT Physical Therapy 

If you are dealing with hip instability issues, physical therapy is a great way to rebuild. Request an appointment to get in touch with our team and begin your tailored treatment plan today.