Rehabilitation Exercises For Hip Pain

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If we ever find a proven way to prevent hip arthritis and hip pain in the elderly a major part of that solution will be exercises like those on this sheet. These type of exercises have already been shown to prevent falls in the elderly and help with hip pain at any age. Preservation of joint health and pain management both depend on the preservation of joint strength, joint stability & joint mobility. 

These exercises are extremely simple and relatively common ones, when they are executed consistently & correctly however the effects can be quite  uncommon. The benefits come from performing them in exactly the right way so make sure you read the instructions carefully. There are only 3 exercises here, trust us when we tell you that when we are aiming for a long term exercise plan for hip pain less is more.. 

Single Leg Squats – For Hip Strength 

  1. Balance on one leg and make sure you are steady. If you need to use a piece of furniture or a door frame for support please be certain to do so. 

  1. Once you have your balance under control slowly execute a very small, very slow  single leg squat. The key to this squat is that it be very very slow and controlled, eliminating any wobble and maintaining weight slightly along the outside of the foot. As you can see from the following 2 pics it is not a deep squat!!! 


  1. Repeat this slow controlled ‘mini-squat’ 10 times on your most painful or weak side. Then repeat it on your good side. Do 5 sets in total (50 squats all together).

*Hip pain sufferers usually have poor balance caused by muscle weakness, that’s why may find you wobble a bit on this exercise. If you wobble excessively just practice standing on 1 leg for a minute at a time until your balance improves. After a couple of months you may find you can start to more effectively control some mini-squats like those shown here. 

*The whole point of this exercise is to functionally activate your glutes and your quads in a way that is supportive to your hip joints. It is just as beneficial for knee issues.

*The essence of this exercise is control, controlling any wobbles clears weakness and ‘spasticity’ from your leg and hip muscles. Bear in mind that this kind of weakness is a MAJOR part of what causes hip pain to be an issue !!!!! 

*GO SLOW!!! CONTROL IS THE NAME OF THE GAME. Analysise and micro-manage this movement,  making it as smooth, slow and controlled as you can.

Internal Rotation Stretch Exercise – For Hip Mobility

  1. Lie flat on your back with one leg at 45 degree with the knee bent and your foot flat on the floor. 


  1. Slowly and gently let the knee drop inwards allowing gravity’s effect on your lower leg to stretch the soft tissues of your hip. 

  1. Put your full focus and intention on relaxing as deeply as you can for 2 minutes, it’s okay to gently encourage the stretch but no forcing. Allow time and gentle movement to take care of the ‘opening’ of the soft tissues as opposed to effort.

*Your knee should drop inwards and stretch lower over time which might feel a bit intense, relax into it as much as you can and make gentle adjustments to your foot and leg position as needed. 


Very slowly unwind the stretch and mobilise your hip. Gently shift it back in line with your body move it around in whatever gentle ways feel appropriate.

  1. Repeat all the steps twice on each leg  !! 

*This is an excellent hip mobility exercises to perform little and often. 

*With time you may be able to go longer and up to 5 minutes per stretch is very beneficial. Maybe consider doing it in front of the tv in the evening when you can relax and take your time. 

*There is a common tendency to try and stretch the same way we lift weights, straining and using effort. This stretch is supposed to be virtually effortless. 

*You may find the the position starts to feel quite uncomfortable and slightly painful as the soft tissue stretch. Trust that it’s a healthy discomfort and embrace it gently. 

External Rotation Stretch Exercise – For Hip Mobility

  1. Lie flat on your back with one knee bent and your foot flat on the floor. 

  1. Let your knee relax and drop outwards until it feels like it is stretching. 

  1. Rest the knee in that position allowing the weight of your thigh to do the stretching for you. Stretch for 2 full minutes in this way and really work on ‘letting go’and relaxing into the stretch. *Your knee should drop outwards and stretch lower over time which might feel a bit intense, relax into it as much as you can and make gentle adjustments to your foot and leg position as needed. 
  1. Very slowly unwind the stretch and mobilise your hip. Take some time to move it around in whatever way feels appropriate. 

  1. Repeat steps 1-4 three times !! 

*If you struggle to sit cross legged easily or get up off the ground easily this is a stretch you should aim to do every day for the rest of your life.. if that seems like a lot please know that it is no less important for you than brushing your teeth… we promise!!

*With time you may be able to go longer and up to 5 minutes per stretch is very beneficial. Maybe consider doing it in front of the tv in the evening when you can relax and take your time. 

*There is a common tendency to try and stretch the same way we lift weights, straining and using effort. This stretch is supposed to be virtually effortless.