Hip Replacement Exercises

Written by crystal welch
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Hip replacement exercises prepare you to live a fully functioning life with your new hip implant. They run the gamut from simple strengthening exercises that can be done immediately after surgery and throughout your recuperation to flexibility exercises that increase your hip's range of motion. All the exercises combine to provide you with a new pain-free lifestyle you can enjoy.

Isometric Exercises

Isometrics strengthen your leg muscles and build up the capability to advance to other hip replacement exercises. Do them throughout your recuperation process. Isometrics also increase the circulation to your muscles.

Tighten your buttocks: While lying down, squeeze your buttocks muscles. Hold for five seconds. Release. Repeat five times an hour.

Strengthen your quadriceps (thigh muscles): While lying face up on a comfortable surface, tighten your thigh muscles at the knees. Hold for five seconds. Relax. Repeat.

Strengthen your calf and foot muscles: Tighten both of these muscles while lying on a flat surface. Hold for five to 10 seconds. You can do them separately or together.

Other Exercises

Hip extension: While standing, hold onto a chair. Lift your surgical leg backward. Hold. Keep your back straight. Return to original position. Repeat.

Leg lift: Lie on your back. While tightening your thigh muscles, lift your leg off of the surface. Lift it as far as you can. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends holding this position for five to 10 seconds. Slowly lower your leg back onto the surface. Repeat.

Riding a Stationary Bike

According to the American Academy of Orthopedics, riding a stationary bike as part of your hip replacement exercises benefits you in many ways, increasing your hip muscle flexibility as well as helping your regain your muscle strength. Start by having the correct riding position. Adjust your seat level. The correct height is the point where your affected leg is as straight as possible and your foot just touches the pedal. Slip your foot inside the stirrup and start pedalling backward. Do not use any tension to begin with. Start out slowly for only two minutes. The average hip replacement patient stays at this level for about four weeks. At that point, you can start pedalling forward. Your goal is to ride your stationary bike for 20 to 30 minutes three times weekly.

Water Exercises

Water provides natural buoyancy and is less of an impact on your joint than land-based activities. It is recommended hip replacement exercise according to University of Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

While immersed in waist-deep water, hold on to the side of the pool. Lift your surgical leg out sideways--this is a hip abduction exercise. Hold. Return to original position. Repeat.

Standing leg kicks: While holding on to the side of the pool, gently kick your surgical leg forward. Gently return it to the original position. Repeat.

Water walking: Walking is an important hip replacement exercise, and using water as your medium can provide less pain. Walk while immersed in waist-deep water. Hold on to the side of the pool and walk the pool's perimeter. Be certain your feet touch the bottom of the pool to avoid any muscle strain.

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