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Two Exercises To Alleviate Hip Pinching

Updated: Apr 3

Let’s talk about that feeling of “pinching” in the front of your hip. This is a frequent complaint that I get in the clinic as a pelvic floor physical therapist, and it can definitely be related to the pelvic floor muscles.

I have patients that complain of this pinching when bringing their hip into full flexion (or their thigh toward their abdomen), resulting in serious discomfort. There are several reasons why this could be going on including a muscle tightness in some regions and hypermobility in others.

To learn more about the impact of hypermobility on the pelvic floor, read my blog post here.

With that being said, I want to provide you with two exercises that help to “pull” the femoral head back into the hip socket. By doing this, you help to alleviate the underlying issue to help avoid that pinching feeling in the front of your hip. I’m hoping that you will be able feel the difference in your hip mobility after completing these two quick activities.

The Importance of Hip Rotations

Your hips can move in several ways, but the ones we are going to look at specifically today are called internal and external rotation. Oftentimes, if you are experiencing pinching in the front of your hip, most likely you have a limitation in internal rotation of the hip. This is because, most likely, the ball or head of your femur, is shifted slightly forward in the socket.

What we are going to work on today is trying to shift the head of the femur back into the hip socket so that you can achieve full range of motion and get rid of that pinching feeling.

Physical Therapy Exercises for Hip Pain

Start with sitting on the floor placing your legs into a Z-sitting position as shown below. Do this on both sides and notice how each side feels in comparison to the other. This is your baseline measurement. Now that you have your baseline, follow along with the movements and instructions below to reduce hip pinching.


woman z-sitting

Iliacus Pullback

women doing iliacus pullback

  • Get into a sidelying position (use a towel or pillow for your head).

  • Place a foam roller (or something of similar length) between your ankles and knees.

  • Bring your hips and knees bent into 90-degree angles

  • Relax your shoulders, head, and neck.

  • Engage your core and lift your bottom ribs slightly off the floor.

  • Push down into the foam roller with the top leg to activate the hip adductors.

  • Maintain these positions and then slowly pull your hip back into its socket.

  • Hold for 3 seconds and then relax.

  • Repeat 10 reps on each side.

Resisted Band Squat

woman doing resisted squat

  • Tie a band to a stable object at about the height of your hips.

  • Loop one end of the band around the hip you are focused on at the height of the hip socket.

  • Walk forward until you get a little bit of tension in the front of your hip.

  • Engage your core.

  • With that tension sustained, perform a deep squat only as far as you feel comfortable.

  • Return to standing position with the band still tensioning at the front of your hip.

  • Repeat 10 reps with the band on each leg

If you'd like to learn more about other benefits of deep squatting, check out my blog post here.

Retest in the Z-sitting position

After you complete these exercises for each side, return to the Z-sitting position (each side) and notice any difference in how the position feels. Typically, you will see an immediate change noticing a reduction in pinching of your hip and feeling that you can sit more upright while in this position.

If pinching in the front of your hip is something you have been dealing with, try these two exercises everyday for a week and notice the difference in how you feel. If you still can’t seem to get relief, it may be in your best interest to see a pelvic floor physical therapist so that they can address any other issues you may be having.

If you'd like to learn more about what to expect at pelvic floor physical therapy, ready my blog post here.

If you'd like to follow along with the video I created for these exercises, click the link here. 

If you're looking for more exercise routines to follow along with, check out my post here for a yoga-based series to help support your menstrual cycle.

Interested in learning more about this topic or have questions? Feel free to reach out to us at 502-939-8564 or request a consultation here.

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