Strong and flexible hips are a key component to any strength-training regime. Held in place by muscles like the gluteus medius and your deep stabilizers, the hips also control the position of your spine and knees, which can affect your overall posture.

Strengthening the muscles surrounding the hip joint aids in the prevention of injury or the general wear and tear of the hips and knees. Mobile hips will help increase your level of stability and maximize force production — two key components of any strength-training regime.

If you’re looking to strengthen the muscles around your hips, try this 5-step workout next time you hit the gym.

Single-leg deadlifts (3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps per side)

  • Begin with a strong and stable posture from the waist up
  • Lock your right leg so that your body forms a fixed line from your right heel to your right shoulder
  • Hinge at your left hip, shifting your weight towards the back of your left foot
  • To initiate this movement, start by bringing your right heel back behind your body and your torso towards the ground
  • Ensure you have full control at the bottom of this movement before engaging your glutes and straightening yourself back up to the starting position
  • Go as low as you can while maintaining the straight line from the heel to shoulder

Walking lunges (3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps per side)

  • Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart
  • Take a step forward and plant your foot flat on the floor in front of your body
  • Ensure your foot is stable before you start transferring weight onto this foot
  • Drop your hips down and bend your front leg until your front knee is in alignment with your toes
  • To come out of the lunge, pull your front leg under your torso to recruit more from your glutes instead pushing off the ground to move forward
  • While moving back to the standing position, think about moving your hips forward and not back
  • Keep your spine straight throughout the duration of the movement

Standing hip openers (3 to 4 sets of 12 circles per side in each direction)

  • Start standing, facing a wall
  • Place your hands against the wall while keeping your torso on a slight angle and with your feet behind you
  • Bend your right knee, then draw the largest circle possible with your knee — first bringing it forward and up, then out to the side, before bringing it back behind you
  • Rotate your right knee in the opposite direction, so that your knee begins in front of your body before moving back behind your hips, then out to the sides, and back in front of your body in a complete circle
  • Try to keep your hips squared to the wall throughout the exercise to ensure the movement is coming from your hip and not from your lower back

Pulsing glute bridges (3 to 4 sets of 20 to 30 reps)

  • Lay face-up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground
  • Keeping your arms at your side, pinch your cheeks together to thrust off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders
  • Pause at the top of this movement to squeeze your glutes as you gently pulse your hips upward and downward 20 to 30 times
  • Maximize the movement by pulsing in your full range of movement, taking your hips all the way down to the ground and back up for one rep