Exercising with hip pain

Exercise is one thing you can do to help your hips. It assist you in maintaining a range of motion and strengthens the muscles that support your hips. When you stretch the muscles and tendons around the joint you can also find relief from the pain.

The following exercises are designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the support structures of your hip.

Strength exercises for hip pain

Hip flexes: Find a flat surface and march on the spot. You want to bring your knees up to your chest, but you don’t want to go above 90 degrees.

Hip extension: Again, on a flat surface and holding on to a chair or a bench, move your left leg backwards — keeping your knee straight. Clench your butt and hold your leg in the back position for 5 seconds. Avoid leaning forward. Repeat with each leg.

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Quadricep exercise: Lying on a flat surface, pull your toes and ankles towards you while keeping your leg straight and pushing your knee firmly agains the floor. You want to feel a tightness in the front of your leg. Hold that position for 5 seconds and then relax.

Read more: Recovering from hip replacement surgery

Stabilising exercises for hip pain

Bridging: Lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, lift your pelvis and lower back off the floor. Try holding the position for 5 seconds and then lower your body slowly. Repeat several times.

Hip rotations: Lying on the floor with your arms by your side and your palms facing up, bend your legs and hips at 90 degrees and keep your knees together. Place a folded towel between your knees and squeeze it tight throughout the exercise. Slowly turn your hips to the right and go as low as you can without lifting your left shoulder and arm off the floor. When you’ve reached the maximum, return to the centre and roll your hips to the left. Continue rolling for about 1 minute and then rest.

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Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and have your toes pointing forward. Lower your hips into a squat position while keeping your back straight and chest high. Hold the low position for 5 seconds if you can. If your knees push past your toes you have taken the exercise too far.

Read more: Quick and easy ways to treat knee pain

Stretches for hip pain

External hip rotation: Sit with your knees bend and your feet together. Press your knees down towards the floor. Take the movement to the point where you feel the stretch and hold for about 10 seconds before you relax. Repeat this stretch at least five times.

Knee lift: Lie on your back and pull each knee to your chest. Take it to the point where you feel a stretch and then hold for around 10 seconds before relaxing. Repeat with each knee at least five times.

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Seated pigeon: Sit with your knees bent and your feet on the floor in front of you. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh and flex your right foot. Put your hands behind your body, fingertips facing away from your body and press your hips towards your heel until you feel a stretch in the outer part of your left hip. Be sure to keep your back straight and your chest up. Hold for about 10 seconds before you relax and repeat the exercise with you left ankle and right thigh.

Something to remember is not to exercise beyond the limit of your pain, and try not to overstretch yourself if you are feeling uncomfortable.

It’s also worthwhile that you seek specialist assistance before you undertake a new exercise program or if you experience joint pain that lasts more than a few days.

Do you have hip pain? Does it prevent you from undertaking every day activities? How do you treat it?