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Exercises for the Hips

These exercises are beneficial for hip-related issues and pain.

To avoid injury, remember to drink lots of water when exercising and leave enough of room around you.

If you’re new to exercising, it’s a good idea to start slowly and gradually increase your intensity.

Leg raise

Leg raise

Lie face down, though you may find it more comfortable to move your head to one side. To lift one leg off the floor, tighten your stomach and buttock muscles while maintaining your hips flat on the ground. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds before repeating three times.

Bridging

Bridging

Lie down on your back, legs bent, feet flat on the floor or bed. Your pelvis and lower back should be lifted off the floor. Hold the position for five seconds before slowly lowering yourself.

External hip rotation (sitting)

External hip rotation (sitting)

Kneel with your feet together and your knees bent. As needed, use your hands to press your knees down towards the floor. Alternatively, lie down on your back with your knees parted and your feet together. Take the movement to the point where you feel a stretch, then hold for 10 seconds before relaxing. Rep 5–10 times more.

If you’ve recently had hip surgery, this may not be the best option for you. If you’re unsure, consult a medical professional.

 

External hip rotation (lying)

External hip rotation (lying)

Kneel on the bed with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Allow one knee to fall towards the bed before bringing it back up. Throughout, keep your back flat on the bed.

Heel slide

Heel slide

Lie down flat on your back. Bend your knee and bring it close to your chest. Return your heel to the ground and slowly straighten your knee.

Hip flexion

Hip flexion

Hold on to a work surface and march on the spot, alternately bringing your knees up to your chest. It’s possible that your physiotherapist will advise you not to lift your knee above hip level.

Hip extension

Hip extension

Backwards-move your leg while maintaining your knee straight. Hold your buttocks in a tight fist for five seconds. Don’t take a step forward. Rep with the opposite leg. For support, grab a chair or a work surface.

Hip abduction (standing)

Hip abduction (standing)

For support, place one hand on the back of a chair or a work desk. Straighten your leg out to the side. Hold for five seconds before lowering your leg slowly. Throughout, try to keep your body straight. On each side, repeat five times.

This exercise can also be done lying down.

Heel to buttock

Heel to buttock

Pull your heel up towards your bottom by bending your knee. Maintain a straight line between your knees, with your kneecap pointing to the ground.

Squats

Squats

For support, grab a chair or a work surface. Squat till your big toe is directly over your kneecap. Knees should not be placed in front of toes. Return to a standing position that is comfortable for you.

Repeat until you are unable to do so any longer, then rest for one minute before repeating two more times. Squat a little deeper as you gain strength, but don’t bend your knees past a straight angle.

Short arc quadriceps exercise

Short arc quadriceps exercise

Place a towel under your knee and roll it up. Keep your back thigh on the towel and elevate your foot off the floor by straightening your knee. Hold for five seconds before slowly lowering.

Quadriceps exercise

Quadriceps exercise

Pull your toes and ankles towards you, maintaining your leg straight and firmly pressing your knee towards the floor. The tightness in the front of your leg should be felt. Relax after five seconds of holding. This exercise can also be done in a sitting position if that is more convenient for you.

Stomach exercise

Stomach exercise

Lie down on your back, knees bent. Pull your belly button down towards the floor or bed with your hands beneath the small of your back. Hold the position for 20 seconds.

Knee lift

Knee lift

Lie on your back. Pull each knee to your chest in turn, keeping the other leg straight. Take the movement up to the point you feel a stretch, hold for around 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times. If this is difficult, try sliding your heel along the floor towards your bottom to begin with, and when this feels comfortable try lifting your knee as above.

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