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Hip Replacement Surgery

Exercises Before Hip Replacement Surgery

Begin Now and Continue After Surgery

You must exercise before and after surgery to build your strength and flexibility. Exercising is necessary for a successful recovery and return to normal living.

Start doing these exercises at home right away and continue to do them at home after your surgery. Be sure to do them on both legs so that they become equally strong. Do all exercises slowly and with control. Repeat each one at least 5 times, increasing the number of times as long as it does not cause too much pain.


Exercise 1: Increase hip flexibility and strengthen back thigh muscles

  • Bend one knee and hip by sliding your heel along the bed toward your buttocks (backside).
  • Keep your knee facing the ceiling.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly straighten your knee, sliding your heel back to the starting position. Repeat.

Exercise 2: Increase hip flexibility and leg strength

  • Slide one leg out to the side and back again so that it is in line with your bellybutton.
  • Make sure to not go any further than shown in the picture.
  • Keep your knee straight and toes pointed to the ceiling while sliding your leg.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5. Repeat.

Exercise 3: Strengthen front thigh muscles

  • Place a firm roll under one knee.
  • Straighten the leg, lifting your foot off the bed.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly lower your foot. Repeat.

Exercise 4: Strengthen stomach muscles

  • Lying on your back, bend both knees while keeping your feet flat.
  • Tighten your lower stomach muscles by pulling your bellybutton down toward your spine.
  • Breathe normally while holding muscles tight for a count of 3 to 5. Relax and repeat.

Exercise 5: Strengthen front thigh muscles

  • Sitting on a steady chair with your thigh supported, lift one foot and straighten your knee.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly lower your foot to the floor. Repeat.

Exercise 6: Strengthen back thigh muscles and increase leg flexibility

  • Sitting on a steady chair with your feet on a smooth surface, slowly slide one foot back as far as possible.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly slide your foot back to the starting position. Repeat.

Exercise 7: Strengthen upper arms and shoulders

  • Sitting on a steady chair with your feet flat on the floor, push up with both arms to lift yourself from the chair only partially.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly lower yourself onto the chair. Repeat.

Exercise 8: Strengthen stomach muscles

  • Sit on a steady chair and put both feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your lower stomach muscles by pulling your bellybutton toward the back of the chair.
  • Breathe normally while holding muscles tight for a count of 3 to 5. Relax and repeat.

When doing the exercises below, remember to stand straight, tuck in your stomach and tighten your buttocks.

Exercise 9: Increase hip flexibility and leg strength

  • Holding onto a table or countertop for stable support, stand with your back and legs straight.
  • Slowly move one leg out to the side, then back toward your bellybutton keeping the leg straight at all times. Repeat.

Exercise 10: Increase hip flexibility and leg strength

  • Holding onto a table or countertop for stable support, keep your back and legs straight and slowly move one leg behind you.
  • Do not lean forward. Keep the leg straight.
  • Slowly return your leg to the starting position. Repeat.

Exercise 11: Increase hip flexibility and leg strength

  • Holding onto a table or countertop for stable support, lift one knee as if to go up a step.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly lower your foot to the floor. Repeat.

Exercise 12: Strengthen back thigh muscles

  • Holding onto a table or countertop for stable support, bend one knee by lifting the heel of your foot toward your buttocks.
  • Do not move your thigh forward.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly lower your foot to the floor. Repeat.

Exercise 13: Strengthen front thigh and buttock muscles

  • Holding onto a table or countertop for stable support, stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your toes pointed forward.
  • Slowly bend your knees, keeping your heels on the floor and your knees apart. Do not bend forward.
  • Keep your weight on your heels as you bend your knees. Do not move the tips of your knees past your toes at the bottom of the bend.
  • Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  • Slowly return to a standing position. Repeat.

For more information, see:
Hip Replacement Surgery

Last reviewed: January 31, 2013

Author: Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute

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