1. Health

Hip Strengthening Exercises

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Updated January 07, 2008

The hip joint is known as a large "ball and socket" joint because the round head of the thigh bone fits into the cup of the pelvis bone. The hip is held in place by strong ligaments as well as muscles that surround the joint.

The hip is a common site of osteoarthritis. To help protect the hip joint from "wear and tear," it is important to strengthen the muscles that support it.

Review three quick and easy exercises that will target and strengthen the muscles of the hip.

Leg Lift:

  • Lie on your right side.
  • Bend your right leg, and rest your left foot on the ground.
  • Slowly lift your top leg 2 feet off the ground.
  • Hold for five seconds, then slowly lower the leg.
  • Repeat 5 times, then change legs.

Hip Flexion:

  • Stand up straight.
  • Lift your right leg off the floor; bend it so that you create a 90-degree angle at the hip.
  • Hold for five seconds, then slowly lower the leg.
  • Repeat 5 times, then change legs.

Wall Slide:

  • Stand upright with your back against a wall and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Slowly bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall for a count of 5 until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle (do not bend too much further than this as it will cause increased strain on your knees).
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  • Begin straightening your knees for a count of five, sliding up the wall until you are fully upright with knees straight.
  • Repeat 5 times.

The above exercises can be advanced by placing an ankle weight on the legs. Discontinue if any significant discomfort is experienced, and remember to discuss starting any new exercise program with your physician first.

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