The hip hike strengthens the hip abductors, which plays an important role in maintaining stability of the pelvis during activities such as walking or running. When these muscles are weak or poorly recruited, it can lead to a number of different issues including iliotibial band (IT band) pain and patellofemoral pain.
The target muscle group for this exercise is the glutes. You will be using the glutes on the stance leg to raise your other hip up and down. You want to try not to rely on the abdominal muscles on the nonstance leg to lower the pelvis.
To begin you want to stand tall facing forward with your hands on your hips. Raise the heel of the non stance leg to 90 degrees by bending it behind you, ensuring that your knees remain level and your shin is parallel to the floor. Your foot should be relaxed. Ensure that your hips remain level and that you have your weight evenly distributed across the stance foot.
Slowly over 3 seconds begin to raise the hip of the non stance leg. Your pelvis should now be lower on the stance side and higher on the non stance side. Hold this position for 2 seconds.
Next slowly over 3 seconds lower the raised hip as far as it will go so that it is lower than the hip of the stance leg. Return to the starting position.
If you are new to this exercise aim for 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps per side. If you are comfortable with this exercise and are able to execute it with proper form you can increase the difficulty by adding a weight in the hand of the non stance leg. Make sure when progressing this exercise, you start with lower reps than you were previously preforming.
Clinical Exercise Physiologist