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Five exercises for hip and joint pain

If an exercise causes pain, medics advise, stop doing it or try going at a slower or gentler pace. / Photo: Net

There are many possible causes of hip pain, ranging from muscle strains and injuries to inflammatory disorders. However, fitness coaches and consultants suggest that gently exercising the hips can often help relieve pain and restore mobility.

Wellness shares some exercises that can help strengthen the hips, improve joint mobility, and relieve hip pain as recommended by fitness consultants.


Knee lift


Lie on the back, extending both legs flat on the floor. Place both hands on top of the knee to help pull it in toward the chest. Keep the left leg straight and pull the right knee up towards the chest. Let go of the knee and gently lower the leg back toward the floor. Do this repeatedly.


Hip rotation

Lie flat on the back. Bend the knees and bring them towards the body until the feet are flat on the floor. Gently rotate the knees to the left, lowering them towards the floor. Rotate the head to face the right while keeping the shoulders against the floor. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly return both the head and knees to the starting position. Repeat the same thing on the opposite side.

Minis squat

Stand upright with the feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping the back straight, gently lower the body by bending the knees until they are above the toes. The feet should remain flat on the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly straighten the legs to return to the starting position. Repeat these mini squats 5 to 10 times.

Quadriceps exercise

Lie flat on the back and keep the legs straight throughout the exercise. Push the backs of both knees towards the floor and flex both feet by pulling the toes towards the body. Hold the position for five seconds, then relax.

Abdominal exercise

Lie on the back, bending the legs at the knees and placing the feet flat on the floor. Tuck both hands underneath the lower back. Focus on the muscles in the lower abdomen and pull the bellybutton downward. Hold this for 20 seconds and then relax.

These kinds of flexibility and strength exercises are key to relieving hip pain. Although they may result in temporary discomfort, they should not cause or aggravate pain. If an exercise causes pain, medics advise, stop doing it or try going at a slower or gentler pace.

However, they are prohibited for individuals who have recently had a hip replacement.

According to Claude Bizimana, a personal trainer and a fitness coach at Rwanda’s Football Federation (FERWAFA), they should consult a doctor or physical therapist before performing any of those exercises.

Some of these exercises stretch the muscles around the hip joint, which can help reduce stiffness and improve joint mobility.

“A person should perform these exercises when they are feeling the least amount of pain and stiffness. A good time to do them is after a warm shower or bath when the muscles are most relaxed,” adds Bizimana.

He advises to begin with one or two exercises a day, three times a week. If this feels comfortable, try doing several exercises once a day.

The aim of these exercises is to strengthen the hip muscles to better support the hip joint, which can help relieve pain.

Bizimana adds that people who experience hip pain or discomfort for more than an hour following these exercises should reduce the number of repetitions accordingly.

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