Even if you are waiting for surgery on your hip, it’s never too late to begin a programme of exercises to strength the muscles around them. Building strength around your hip joints will help support the new joint and help you recover more quickly following your surgery.

Everyone is different and will respond differently, so take care not to overdo things. If any of the exercises we have recommend below cause pain, then reduce the number you are doing or stop and get some individual advice from a physiotherapist who can assess your condition face-to-face.

Try completing the programme once or twice each day. Work on both legs and aim to repeat each exercise 10 – 20 times.

Pre-op strengthening exercises (lying on your back on the bed)

  1. Thigh squeezes: Tighten the muscles of your thighs by pushing the back of your knee down into the bed. Hold for 5 seconds.
  2. Buttock squeezes: Tighten your buttocks muscles by squeezing the muscles together. Hold for 5 seconds.
  3. Heel slides: Bend your hip and knee by sliding your heel up toward your buttocks while keeping your heel on the bed. Then slide heel back down to the starting position and relax. Keep your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling during the exercise. Using a plastic bag under your heel may help it slide more easily.
  4. Lying kicks: Lie on your back with a rolled-up towel (at least 6 inches in diameter) under the knee. Straighten your knee and hold for 5 seconds.Then slowly lower your heel. The back of your knee should stay in contact with the towel during the exercise.
  5. Straight leg raises: Bend your other leg with your foot flat on the bed. Raise your leg up about 12 inches, keeping your knee straight. Work up to holding for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your leg down and relax.

Apart from exercises, getting back to regular walking and light activity around the house is an important part of your recovery. Diet and weight will also play a role, so ask your GP for any advice or support they can offer in these areas. And finally, prepare your home and arrange visits from family and friends.