Hip Instability – 5 Exercises To Improve An Unstable Hip

September 1, 2020


An unstable hip is an unstable body. But what are some of the causes of hip instability and hip pain?

A labral tear can cause hip instability

The labrum is an important structure that enforces the stability of both the hip and shoulder joints.

A labrum is a thick piece of fibrocartilage that increases the articular surface area and helps keep the ball of the joint in place.

It has many important functions including joint lubrication, pressure distribution, and shock absorption.

Without the labrum, the hip joint will not have the ability to move through dynamic movement patterns across the full range of motion.

If your hip labrum is damaged or injured, it could be the reason for your unstable hip.

What are some causes of a labral tear or labral damage?

Labral tears and hip instability can be caused by:

How do I know if a labral tear is causing my hip instability?

Labral tears are often associated with hip and groin pain, and can sometimes be asymptomatic.

Some patients may also exhibit mechanical symptoms of clicking and locking sensations in the hip.

If left untreated and/or undiagnosed, labral tears in the hip may cause permanent damage to the joint.

In addition to subjective findings, a thorough physical examination and the need for specialized diagnostic tools are necessary in ruling in the diagnosis of a labral tear.

How common is a labral tear as the cause of hip instability?

According to Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, a comprehensive review of hip labral tears suggests the prevalence range of labrum tears in patients with hip or groin pain has been reported to be from 22% to 55%.

The occurrence of a hip labral injury is also associated with an individual’s level of activity, participation in sports, and past and/or current injuries.

What can I do to improve my hip stability?

Here are 5 daily exercises you can start doing today to improve your hip stability. You’ll also have the option to download these exercises as a PDF document for your convenience.

1.) Clamshells

Begin lying on your side with knees bent and feet together.

While keeping your feet together, lift your top knee up and lower it back down.

Repeat 10-15 times on both sides.

This exercise can also be performed with a resistance band around both knees.


2.) Bridging

Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.

Engage your abdominals and slowly lift your hips by pressing down through your heels.

Maintain bridge position as you exhale for three seconds, then lower hips and repeat 10-15 times.


3.) Hip Abduction

Begin lying on your side with your bottom knee bent, and your top leg straight.

Without rolling your pelvis backwards, lift your top leg toward the ceiling, then slowly lower and repeat 10-15 times on both sides.


4.) Side Plank

Begin lying on your side with knees bent and feet together.

While propped up on your forearm, make sure to keep your shoulders, hips, and knees aligned.

Engage your abdominals and raise your hips off the ground into a side plank position, while keeping your knees on the ground.

Hold position for 15-30 seconds and perform exercise on both sides.


5.) Lateral Mini-Band Walking

Begin in an upright standing position with a resistance band looped around both ankles.

While maintaining the tension in the band, slowly step sideways and perform 10 steps in each direction.


Download the PDF

We’ve created a PDF with all the above exercises for your convenience.

Click the following link to download the PDF so you can reference it later:

Book an appointment with us

If you’re experiencing hip instability, hip pain, or you think you might have a labral tear, contact Integrative Spine & Sports to book an appointment.

At Integrative Spine & Sports, we specialize in hip pain treatment and hip labral tears and we have the right staff, equipment, and resources to treat you.

Don’t wait to treat your pain, contact us today so you can start feeling better.