I planned on sharing this post a couple of weeks ago, but that thing called “life” seemed to get in the way. My intent was to share my favourite hip strengthening exercises as I was focusing on getting in extra strengthening before having surgery on one of my hips.
I am now 2 weeks post surgery, and am feeling so good that I wanted to give these exercises much of the credit. From about January to mid April these type of exercises were basically the only lower body strengthening moves I was doing.
My favourite squats and lunges, side lunges, curtsey lunges and the like just would not happen. However, I wanted to go into surgery as strong as I could so my recovery would be the best it could be.
It worked, too, because from my first assessment with my doctor in January compared to the second assessment in March there was a marked difference in my strength.
Before we get to the exercises let me explain that I did not have a hip replacement. About three years ago I was diagnosed with a torn labrum in the left hip. I did a ton of physical therapy and decided to try to avoid surgery at all costs. It began giving me issues about a year ago and then this summer things really started to go downhill. Can I blame it on COVID? By September my mobility was affected and it just always hurt like heck. So, after a few more doctor appointments, referrals, tests and evaluations, I was just ready to get it fixed, and hopefully, get back to being active again.
I had a fabulous doctor who is an orthopaedic hip specialist at the Nashville Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center. He repaired the torn labrum and also a half a dozen other things that needed repairing – so I’m definitely glad to have gotten it taken care of! And if you are about to ask, “Was it from all that exercisin’?” The answer is I do not think so. (If I had a dime for each time I got that question!).
The truth is that some of it is genetic, so some one much more active than I may never have an issue. Also, on the flip side, active folks may have a higher percentage of injuries, simply because of their higher activity. Who’s to say? As an example, I fell in December on my “good hip” and ended up with a torn labrum in that hip also. . . and it was just a silly fall. But I’d rather not think about that right now. . .
These are not great photos as I am not coordinated enough to get perfect shots. But, this is the simple explanation on some of my favourite strengthening exercises that helped me going into surgery and that I’ll continue implementing when I’m recovered.
- Ball wall squat with inner thigh squeezes with ball. Here you really want to focus on a strong core, using your glutes as well as inner thighs.
- Standing wall push. In the goofy looking photo showing my bent leg against a wall, I am working really hard and it IS harder than it looks. You stand against a wall and lift the closest leg in a 90 degree angle and push against the wall. Keep you core strong, squeeze your opposite glute, hold for 10 plus seconds and repeat for several sets. Then, of course, repeat on the other side. I would do these randomly throughout the day, even in the shower, and my leg would often shake. It really is a good one to try!
- Wall sits with ball squeezes. This is similar to the wall squats, but without the ball against the wall. Again, focusing on core, lowering down to 90 degrees and using glutes as well as inner thighs. It’s also a good posture move as you want to keep your upper body right against the wall. Squeeze and release the ball for 20 – 50 reps and repeat.
The next two videos show some other moves using bands that I love. I often incorporate lateral walks and squats with bands in my workouts. They are so good for us, but the Trapeze Walks I show in the first video were new. They are great for also incorporating balance and core. This snippet does not show it, but walk forward a length and then walk backwards. Repeat for three laps or more.
The next video is Bob and Brad a couple of physical therapist on YouTube I go to at times when I’m looking at particular issues and injuries. They typically have some good exercises and tips for correcting different issues.
In this video, they emphasise the importance of keeping your hips strong and demonstrate some other hip exercises, including the popular clams with bands that I think I’ve done about 548,679,900 by now. But they are good!
It goes without saying that I would love to see you adding some of these strengthening exercises to your routine if you aren’t doing hip and lateral work. The hips anchor, stabilise and mobilize you and keep everything working – give them some love.
Also, these are only some of the great and effective exercises. Let me know if you want additional ones!
And, yes, that is Jane Fonda in the photo above – isn’t it great? Giving her all the credit! I have fond memories of doing her workout videos in my family room growing up. . . minus the leg warmers.