How to Do a Seated Hip Abduction: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do a seated hip abduction to improve hip strength and mobility, plus modifications to make this exercise easier or harder.

seated-hip-abduction

Looking for a simple yet effective exercise that will help to strengthen your hips and reduce hip pain? Look no further. The seated hip abduction is a targeted exercise that strengthens and stabilizes the outer hip muscles and improves overall lower body strength. 

Whether you're an avid fitness enthusiast, rehabbing from an injury, or seeking to reduce pain with daily movements, the seated hip abduction can help. Here’s more information about this effective exercise.

Our Hinge Health Experts

Dylan Peterson, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist and Clinical Reviewer
Dr. Peterson is a Hinge Health physical therapist who focuses on developing clinical exercise therapy programs and member education.

What Is a Seated Hip Abduction?

Seated hip abduction is an exercise that targets the muscles of the outer hip, specifically the muscles responsible for moving the leg away from the body. This exercise is commonly used in strength training and rehabilitation programs to improve hip strength and stability, as well as balance and overall lower body strength.

What Muscles Does Seated Hip Abduction Work? 

The seated hip abduction primarily targets the muscles of the outer hip, including the following: 

  • Gluteus medius. This muscle is located on the outer surface of the pelvis and is responsible for abducting the hip — or moving it away from the midline of the body. It plays a key role in stabilizing the pelvis during activities like walking and standing on one leg.

  • Gluteus minimus. Situated beneath the gluteus medius, the gluteus minimus also contributes to hip abduction and stabilization. It works in conjunction with the medius to control movement and maintain balance.

  • Tensor fasciae latae (TFL). The TFL is a muscle on the outside of the hip. It assists in hip abduction and flexion and is often involved in activities like walking and running.

  • Piriformis. While not the primary muscle targeted, the piriformis, located deep in the buttock region, may also be engaged during hip abduction.

Benefits of Seated Hip Abduction

Seated hip abduction challenges your outer hip muscles, which is particularly beneficial for: 

  • Activities that involve side-to-side movement, such as skating, dance, tennis, pickleball, skiing, zumba, and hiking on uneven terrain. 

  • Improving hip stability. This is particularly important for activities that require balance and coordination, such as walking, running, and sports.

  • Hip drop prevention. Weakness in the gluteus medius can contribute to a phenomenon known as hip drop, where the pelvis tilts to one side during activities like walking or running. Seated hip abduction helps address this issue by strengthening the supporting muscles.

  • Healing from hip injuries. Seated hip abduction is often included in rehabilitation programs for individuals recovering from hip injuries or surgeries. It provides a controlled way to strengthen the hip muscles without being too much for the joint.

  • Improving functional movements. By improving the strength and control of your hip muscles, you can move with greater efficiency and ease in various daily activities, like climbing stairs or running errands. 

Seated hip abduction can also be adapted to different fitness levels, making it a versatile exercise that can be included in anyone’s movement routine. 

Seated Hip Abduction: Exercises and Modifications 

The information contained in these videos is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or treatment for any specific condition. Hinge Health is not your healthcare provider and is not responsible for any injury sustained or exacerbated by your use of or participation in these exercises. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your medical condition or treatment.

Seated Hip Abduction

Seated Hip Abduction

Seated Hip Abduction

Seated Hip Abduction

To do a seated hip abduction:

  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. 

  • Lift one foot off the floor, then move your hip and foot out to the side, widening the space between your thighs. 

  • Focus on tightening the muscles on the outside of your hip as you hold this position. 

  • Return to the starting position. 

Everyone is different, which is why you may need to modify this exercise to meet your needs. 

Tap into pain relief. Anytime, anywhere with our app.

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Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

To make a seated hip abduction easier:  

  • Instead of holding one leg up, keep both feet flat on the floor as you slide one knee and foot out to the side. 

To make a seated hip abduction harder: 

  • Place a looped band just above your knees before lifting one foot off the floor and performing the exercise. 

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program. 

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.  

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. 

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

Looking for pain relief? Check if your employer or health plan covers our program

Hinge Health is available to over 1,600 companies and benefit plans!

References

  1. Hampton, L. Hip Abductors. (n.d.). Physiopedia. Retrieved from https://www.physio-pedia.com/Hip_Abductors

  2. Dickerman, R. & Elder, S. Anatomy of the Piriformis Muscle. (2023, January 17). Spine Health. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spine-anatomy/anatomy-piriformis-muscle

seated-hip-abduction

How to Do a Seated Hip Abduction: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do a seated hip abduction to improve hip strength and mobility, plus modifications to make this exercise easier or harder.

Published Date: Jan 26, 2024
seated-hip-abduction

Looking for a simple yet effective exercise that will help to strengthen your hips and reduce hip pain? Look no further. The seated hip abduction is a targeted exercise that strengthens and stabilizes the outer hip muscles and improves overall lower body strength. 

Whether you're an avid fitness enthusiast, rehabbing from an injury, or seeking to reduce pain with daily movements, the seated hip abduction can help. Here’s more information about this effective exercise.

Our Hinge Health Experts

Dylan Peterson, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist and Clinical Reviewer
Dr. Peterson is a Hinge Health physical therapist who focuses on developing clinical exercise therapy programs and member education.

What Is a Seated Hip Abduction?

Seated hip abduction is an exercise that targets the muscles of the outer hip, specifically the muscles responsible for moving the leg away from the body. This exercise is commonly used in strength training and rehabilitation programs to improve hip strength and stability, as well as balance and overall lower body strength.

What Muscles Does Seated Hip Abduction Work? 

The seated hip abduction primarily targets the muscles of the outer hip, including the following: 

  • Gluteus medius. This muscle is located on the outer surface of the pelvis and is responsible for abducting the hip — or moving it away from the midline of the body. It plays a key role in stabilizing the pelvis during activities like walking and standing on one leg.

  • Gluteus minimus. Situated beneath the gluteus medius, the gluteus minimus also contributes to hip abduction and stabilization. It works in conjunction with the medius to control movement and maintain balance.

  • Tensor fasciae latae (TFL). The TFL is a muscle on the outside of the hip. It assists in hip abduction and flexion and is often involved in activities like walking and running.

  • Piriformis. While not the primary muscle targeted, the piriformis, located deep in the buttock region, may also be engaged during hip abduction.

Benefits of Seated Hip Abduction

Seated hip abduction challenges your outer hip muscles, which is particularly beneficial for: 

  • Activities that involve side-to-side movement, such as skating, dance, tennis, pickleball, skiing, zumba, and hiking on uneven terrain. 

  • Improving hip stability. This is particularly important for activities that require balance and coordination, such as walking, running, and sports.

  • Hip drop prevention. Weakness in the gluteus medius can contribute to a phenomenon known as hip drop, where the pelvis tilts to one side during activities like walking or running. Seated hip abduction helps address this issue by strengthening the supporting muscles.

  • Healing from hip injuries. Seated hip abduction is often included in rehabilitation programs for individuals recovering from hip injuries or surgeries. It provides a controlled way to strengthen the hip muscles without being too much for the joint.

  • Improving functional movements. By improving the strength and control of your hip muscles, you can move with greater efficiency and ease in various daily activities, like climbing stairs or running errands. 

Seated hip abduction can also be adapted to different fitness levels, making it a versatile exercise that can be included in anyone’s movement routine. 

Seated Hip Abduction: Exercises and Modifications 

The information contained in these videos is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or treatment for any specific condition. Hinge Health is not your healthcare provider and is not responsible for any injury sustained or exacerbated by your use of or participation in these exercises. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your medical condition or treatment.

Seated Hip Abduction

Seated Hip Abduction

Seated Hip Abduction

Seated Hip Abduction

To do a seated hip abduction:

  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. 

  • Lift one foot off the floor, then move your hip and foot out to the side, widening the space between your thighs. 

  • Focus on tightening the muscles on the outside of your hip as you hold this position. 

  • Return to the starting position. 

Everyone is different, which is why you may need to modify this exercise to meet your needs. 

Tap into pain relief. Anytime, anywhere with our app.

Get exercises from a licensed physical therapist and more to relieve your pain. All right from your phone. At $0 cost to you.
Start your app tour

Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

Seated Hip Abduction Modifications

To make a seated hip abduction easier:  

  • Instead of holding one leg up, keep both feet flat on the floor as you slide one knee and foot out to the side. 

To make a seated hip abduction harder: 

  • Place a looped band just above your knees before lifting one foot off the floor and performing the exercise. 

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program. 

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.  

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. 

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

Looking for pain relief? Check if your employer or health plan covers our program

Hinge Health is available to over 1,600 companies and benefit plans!

References

  1. Hampton, L. Hip Abductors. (n.d.). Physiopedia. Retrieved from https://www.physio-pedia.com/Hip_Abductors

  2. Dickerman, R. & Elder, S. Anatomy of the Piriformis Muscle. (2023, January 17). Spine Health. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spine-anatomy/anatomy-piriformis-muscle