Flexibility and Strength for the Hips and Legs

These four flexibility exercises will increase circulation to the joins and improve the range of motion in your hips.

Note: If you experience intense pain with any of these movements, discontinue until you discuss it with your physician.

Hip Flexion

Sit in a chair, facing forward. Holding the seat of the chair with your hands, lift one knee as if you were taking a step. Do not lean forward as you lift your knee. Keep your abdomen pulled in as you lift for support. Repeat with your other leg. This hip flexion exercise builds strength as well as flexibility.

Internal Hip Rotation

Still sitting, spread your feet farther apart. With your feet flat on the floor, tilt one knee toward the other, then let it relax back into starting position. Repeat on both sides.

External Hip Rotation

Rest one ankle on the opposite knee. Lean forward and rest your forearm on the inside of that knee. Lean further forward, pressing your forearm into the knee, hold for a few seconds, and then to starting position. Repeat on both sides.

Hip Extension

Holding onto a table or back of a chair, grasp your foot or ankle. Let your knee dangle straight down. Move your knee backward, then return, repeating on both sides up to 20 times. If grabbing your ankle is too difficult, you can also benefit from simply moving your straight leg backward in the same fashion.

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