With age, hip pains come for everyone - unless you do these exercises
If you stretch and strengthen your hip muscles regularly, you can avoid much of the aches that come with age. Just two to three sessions a week can have an effect. Christin Klose/dpa
If you stretch and strengthen your hip muscles regularly, you can avoid much of the aches that come with age. Just two to three sessions a week can have an effect. Christin Klose/dpa

A stiff, aching hip seems like one of those inevitable problems of getting older. And yet some light stretches and strengthening exercises is all that's needed to prevent, relieve and delay hip pains.

Pain in the hip can have very different causes - often wear and tear of the joint is behind it. To prevent hip problems and alleviate the discomfort, it can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles there, says orthopaedic surgeon Martin Rinio.

"But please don't exercise your way to hip pain," he says. If the pain is too sharp, it's better to just take it easy on the hip joint.

In any case, exercise is only one of several ways for dealing with hip pain that you can talk to your doctor about.

Whether or not you have hip pains yet, you should try getting into the habit of regularly doing these exercises that are good for the hips.

Exercise 1 - Cycling on the floor

To do this, lie on your back and imitate the motions of cycling with your legs. According to Rinio, this exercise is suitable for warming up the hip muscles. The important things is to make sure your spine has good contact with the floor.

Exercise 2 - 'Wiping the floor' stretches

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place a small towel under one foot. Then push this foot outwards while keeping the other leg slightly bent. Bring back your foot to the starting position and repeat the movement 15 times with each leg.

This little exercise stretches the abductors, the muscles that stretch downwards along the sides of your hips.

While you're at it: Try training your hip flexor muscles by doing a few long lunges, for example.