Hip Exercises

RANGE OF MOTION (ROM) AND STRETCHING EXERCISES

These exercises may help you when beginning to rehabilitate your injury. Doing them too aggressively can worsen your condition. Complete them slowly and gently. Your symptoms may resolve with or without further involvement from your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer. While completing these exercises, remember:

  • Restoring tissue flexibility helps normal motion to return to the joints. This allows healthier, less painful movement and activity.

  • An effective stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds.

  • A stretch should never be painful. You should only feel a gentle lengthening or release in the stretched tissue. If these stretches worsen your symptoms even when done gently, consult your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer.

STRETCH – Hamstrings, Supine

  • Lie on your back. Loop a belt or towel over the ball of your right / left foot.

  • Straighten your right / left knee and slowly pull on the belt to raise your leg. Do not allow the right / left knee to bend. Keep your opposite leg flat on the floor.

  • Raise the leg until you feel a gentle stretch behind your right / left knee or thigh. Hold this position for __________ seconds.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

STRETCH - Hip Rotators

  • Lie on your back on a firm surface. Grasp your right / left knee with your right / left hand and your ankle with your opposite hand.

  • Keeping your hips and shoulders firmly planted, gently pull your right / left knee and rotate your lower leg toward your opposite shoulder until you feel a stretch in your buttocks.

  • Hold this stretch for __________ seconds.

Repeat this stretch __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

STRETCH - Hamstrings/Adductors, V-Sit

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended in a large "V," keeping your knees straight.

  • With your head and chest upright, bend at your waist reaching for your right foot to stretch your left adductors.

  • You should feel a stretch in your left inner thigh. Hold for __________ seconds.

  • Return to the upright position to relax your leg muscles.

  • Continuing to keep your chest upright, bend straight forward at your waist to stretch your hamstrings.

  • You should feel a stretch behind both of your thighs and/or knees. Hold for __________ seconds.

  • Return to the upright position to relax your leg muscles.

  • Repeat steps 2 through 4 for opposite leg.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRETCHING - Hip Flexors, Lunge

  • Half kneel with your right / left knee on the floor and your opposite knee bent and directly over your ankle.

  • Keep good posture with your head over your shoulders. Tighten your buttocks to point your tailbone downward; this will prevent your back from arching too much.

  • You should feel a gentle stretch in the front of your thigh and/or hip. If you do not feel any resistance, slightly slide your opposite foot forward and then slowly lunge forward so your knee once again lines up over your ankle. Be sure your tailbone remains pointed downward.

  • Hold this stretch for __________ seconds.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

STRENGTHENING EXERCISES

These exercises may help you when beginning to rehabilitate your injury. They may resolve your symptoms with or without further involvement from your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer. While completing these exercises, remember:

  • Muscles can gain both the endurance and the strength needed for everyday activities through controlled exercises.

  • Complete these exercises as instructed by your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer. Progress the resistance and repetitions only as guided.

  • You may experience muscle soreness or fatigue, but the pain or discomfort you are trying to eliminate should never worsen during these exercises. If this pain does worsen, stop and make certain you are following the directions exactly. If the pain is still present after adjustments, discontinue the exercise until you can discuss the trouble with your clinician.

STRENGTH - Hip Extensors, Bridge

  • Lie on your back on a firm surface. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.

  • Tighten your buttocks muscles and lift your bottom off the floor until your trunk is level with your thighs. You should feel the muscles in your buttocks and back of your thighs working. If you do not feel these muscles, slide your feet 1-2 inches further away from your buttocks.

  • Hold this position for __________ seconds.

  • Slowly lower your hips to the starting position and allow your buttock muscles relax completely before beginning the next repetition.

  • If this exercise is too easy, you may cross your arms over your chest.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRENGTH - Hip Abductors, Straight Leg Raises

Be aware of your form throughout the entire exercise so that you exercise the correct muscles. Sloppy form means that you are not strengthening the correct muscles.

  • Lie on your side so that your head, shoulders, knee and hip line up. You may bend your lower knee to help maintain your balance. Your right / left leg should be on top.

  • Roll your hips slightly forward, so that your hips are stacked directly over each other and your right / left knee is facing forward.

  • Lift your top leg up 4-6 inches, leading with your heel. Be sure that your foot does not drift forward or that your knee does not roll toward the ceiling.

  • Hold this position for __________ seconds. You should feel the muscles in your outer hip lifting (you may not notice this until your leg begins to tire).

  • Slowly lower your leg to the starting position. Allow the muscles to fully relax before beginning the next repetition.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRENGTH - Hip Adductors, Straight Leg Raises

  • Lie on your side so that your head, shoulders, knee and hip line up. You may place your upper foot in front to help maintain your balance. Your right / left leg should be on the bottom.

  • Roll your hips slightly forward, so that your hips are stacked directly over each other and your right / left knee is facing forward.

  • Tense the muscles in your inner thigh and lift your bottom leg 4-6 inches. Hold this position for __________ seconds.

  • Slowly lower your leg to the starting position. Allow the muscles to fully relax before beginning the next repetition.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRENGTH - Quadriceps, Straight Leg Raises

Quality counts! Watch for signs that the quadriceps muscle is working to insure you are strengthening the correct muscles and not "cheating" by substituting with healthier muscles.

  • Lay on your back with your right / left leg extended and your opposite knee bent.

  • Tense the muscles in the front of your right / left thigh. You should see either your knee cap slide up or increased dimpling just above the knee. Your thigh may even quiver.

  • Tighten these muscles even more and raise your leg 4 to 6 inches off the floor. Hold for right / left seconds.

  • Keeping these muscles tense, lower your leg.

  • Relax the muscles slowly and completely in between each repetition.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRENGTH - Hip Abductors, Standing

  • Tie one end of a rubber exercise band/tubing to a secure surface (table, pole) and tie a loop at the other end.

  • Place the loop around your right / left ankle. Keeping your ankle with the band directly opposite of the secured end, step away until there is tension in the tube/band.

  • Hold onto a chair as needed for balance.

  • Keeping your back upright, your shoulders over your hips, and your toes pointing forward, lift your right / left leg out to your side. Be sure to lift your leg with your hip muscles. Do not "throw" your leg or tip your body to lift your leg.

  • Slowly and with control, return to the starting position.

Repeat exercise __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRENGTH – Quadriceps, Squats

  • Stand in a door frame so that your feet and knees are in line with the frame.

  • Use your hands for balance, not support, on the frame.

  • Slowly lower your weight, bending at the hips and knees. Keep your lower legs upright so that they are parallel with the door frame. Squat only within the range that does not increase your knee pain. Never let your hips drop below your knees.

  • Slowly return upright, pushing with your legs, not pulling with your hands.