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Hip Bursitis: Exercises


Here are some examples of exercises for you to try. The exercises may be suggested for a condition or for rehabilitation. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercises if you start to have pain.

You will be told when to start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Hip external rotator stretch

slide 1 of 4
slide 1 of 4, Hip external rotator stretch,
  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Put the ankle of your affected leg on your opposite thigh near your knee.
  3. Use your opposite hand to gently pull your knee across your body toward your shoulder. For example, to stretch your left hip, use your right hand to pull your left knee toward your right shoulder.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
  6. It's a good idea to repeat these steps with your other leg.

Iliotibial band stretch

Picture of the iliotibial band stretch
slide 2 of 4
slide 2 of 4, Iliotibial band stretch,
  1. Lean sideways against a wall. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair or counter.
  2. Stand on the leg with the affected hip, with that leg close to the wall. Then cross your other leg in front of it.
  3. Let your affected hip drop out to the side of your body and against wall. Then lean away from your affected hip until you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Straight-leg raises to the outside

Picture of the straight-leg raise exercise
slide 3 of 4
slide 3 of 4, Straight-leg raises to the outside,
  1. Lie on your side, with your affected hip on top.
  2. Tighten the front thigh muscles of your top leg to keep your knee straight.
  3. Keep your hip and your leg straight in line with the rest of your body, and keep your knee pointing forward. Do not drop your hip back.
  4. Lift your top leg straight up toward the ceiling, about 30 centimetres off the floor. Hold for about 6 seconds, then slowly lower your leg.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.


Picture of the clamshell exercise
slide 4 of 4
slide 4 of 4, Clamshell,
  1. Lie on your side, with your affected hip on top and your head propped on a pillow. Keep your feet and knees together and your knees bent.
  2. Raise your top knee, but keep your feet together. Do not let your hips roll back. Your legs should open up like a clamshell.
  3. Hold for 6 seconds.
  4. Slowly lower your knee back down. Rest for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.