Hip Extension Exercises – No Equipment Required

Hip extension and running go together like chocolate chip cookies and milk. You just can’t have one without the other. Your hip extensor muscles are working overtime every time you push off. They work especially hard when you are running uphill.

The following hip extension exercises will improve the strength, endurance and injury resistance of your hip extensor muscles.

Hip Kickback

This is a beginning level exercise appropriate for all experience levels.

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees with your back straight. Don’t allow your back to sway or arch.
  • Keeping your knee bent at a 90 degree angle, kick your right foot back as far as possible by extending your right hip.
  • Return to the starting position
  • Keep performing that motion for about 30 seconds.
  • Repeat using your left leg as the kicking leg.

Two Leg Hip Bridge

This two leg hip bridge is an intermediate level exercise. This exercise is a good starting point for runners that already have a good base of fitness

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and your arms at your sides.
  • Press your hips up by driving your feet against the ground.
  • Keep your knees bent throughout the exercise.
  • Slowly return to your starting position
  • Repeat for your desired number of repetitions.

Steep Hill Sprints

While this exercise isn’t classic strength training, it is a very running specific exercises that does an excellent job of improving your hip extensor strength as well as increasing your running power.

  • Do these on a very steep hill or on a treadmill elevated to between 12 and 15 percent.
  • Before beginning this workout, warm up thoroughly with some easy running.
  • Sprint up the hill at the fastest pace you can maintain for about 100  to 200 meters.
  • Jog down the hill for recovery
  • Repeat this between 4 and 10 times. For your first attempts go for 4 repeats and gradually build up to 10 repeats.
  • Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running and some light stretching.


This is just a few hip extension exercises. For more fully illustrated hip extension workouts see Bear Naked Strength Training for Distance Runners.