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How do I Choose the Best Hip Exercises?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 July 2018
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Determining which are the best hip exercises will vary depending on individual circumstances. Those looking to exercise the hips after any form of injury are not best-served by simply picking some good hip exercises online or in books and implementing them. In fact, anyone beginning an exercise regimen or people who have had recent injury should get an all clear from doctors, particularly if it has been a long time since they engaged in rigorous physical activity. Physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors or other health professionals could have very specific instructions or directions for these groups of people.

When folks are given an all clear from doctors to pursue exercise plans, it should be noted that many hip exercises do not solely isolate the hips. They are, after all, connected to the legs and the trunk, and doing them may involve work of either part. In particular many of these moves are connected to work with the leg.

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Some of the best moves are fairly easy to perform, but they may require a little balance. Using a chair can be an assistance to prevent falling. Leg swings, which bring one leg up in front, out to the side, or swing it back, will work several areas of the hips and legs. It isn’t necessary to lift the leg very high in any three of these positions, but moving slowly and holding the leg in the raised position can be of use. Ten repetitions on each leg in each position, once a day, are ample.

Hip exercises that stretch and expand the hips are useful too. Lunges of a variety of kinds may help accomplish this, and squats, with or without weights, work the thighs, buttocks and hips. Even going up the stairs or using a stair stepper demands work from the hips. Some lunges particularly worth trying are those in yoga, and it’s easy to find a yoga tape/DVD that features these, or even find demonstrations online of strong warrior and proud warrior. The reason a tape/DVD may be useful is because instruction is given on how to hold the upper body and how to properly position the legs and knees for maximum stretch without injury.

There are other hip exercises people can choose. Lying on the floor and bicycling the legs works the hips. Kneeling on the floor and swinging one knee up to the side helps to create stretch of a different type. If people would like simpler work, they can head out the door and walk, since walking involves the hips and will provide a workout. Most aerobic dance, step, or Tae Bo workout tapes give the hips plenty to do, too.

Those trying hip exercises should be slow and careful getting started, particularly if the hips have been injured in the past. For example, someone with a hip replacement would have different directions for what to do than a person who is in very good physical shape.

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