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Hip Exercise Guide

Purpose of Hip Exercise and Rehabilitation

Your hips, along with the base of your spine, bear the weight of your body. Exercising the hips keeps them stable and strong, and enables you to bear your body weight, bend down, walk, run and other physical movement. If you're recovering from surgery or illness, hip exercises maintain joint function and rotation. After hip surgery, hip exercises help increase

circulation and heal the hip joint.

Benefits of Exercise and Physical Therapy

  • Range of motion
  • Strengthening
  • Increased endurance
  • Increase function and mobility

Range of Motion

There are two types of range of motion exercise:

  • Active - Performed by you
  • Passive - Performed by a physical therapist

Perform exercises as instructed by your doctor or therapist, depending on your condition and strength.

Range of Motion Hip Exercises

  • Lying on a bed or table, bring the knee toward your chest and then extend
  • Standing behind a chair, extend your leg away from your body (abduction) and then inward (adduction), crossing the moving leg in front of the standing leg
  • Standing or sitting, lift the knee upward, then lower

Strengthening Hip Exercises

Strengthening the hips may help reduce fall risks, and helps maintain healthy, strong and limber joints. Follow instructions or guidance by your doctor or physical therapist before engaging in strengthening or weight-bearing exercise, especially following illness or surgery.

  • Knee bends
  • Lunges
  • Side steps and dips
  • Walking
  • Stationary bike riding
  • Swimming

Flexibility Hip Exercises

Flexibility helps keep your hip joint strong and limber, and enhances range of motion. You can do flexibility exercises while sitting, standing or lying down. When possible, use exercise tools like resistance bands or tubes to help with stretching and flexibility exercises. When stretching, only go as far as comfortable. Your range of motion and flexibility will increase with practice. Some flexibility and stretching hip exercises for the hips include:

  • Gentle leg swings - you can do these in a pool, holding onto a chair or a door jamb
  • Standing leg extensions - gently and slowly swing your leg forward and then backward. Hold in your stomach and tuck your pelvis. Don't arch your back.