What exercises can I do after hip replacement surgery?

After hip replacement surgery, you can pretty much resume any exercise routine except for those that require jumping or heavy pounding (like running and basketball).  Sports like tennis, golf, hiking, biking, swimming and skiing are all acceptable. You are also cautioned against certain yoga positions that will put your hip in a provocative position that may lead to dislocation.

Walking and external rotation exercises can help you bounce back after hip replacement surgery.

Following a hip replacement surgery, patients should avoid high-impact activities like running, but can participate in their regular exercise.

Doing the following exercises will help you recover after total hip replacement surgery:

Buttocks squeeze

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  • Squeeze buttocks together.

Hip abduction

  • Lie on your back with your legs together.
  • Move your leg out to the side, keeping your knee straight.
  • Return to starting position.

Heel slides

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  • Slide your heel up toward your buttocks.
  • Return to starting position.

Quad sets

  • Lie or sit with your leg extended.
  • Tighten the quad muscles, which are above your knee on the front of your thigh.
  • Try to push the back of your knee downward.

External rotation

  • Lie or sit on a firm, flat surface with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Rotate one leg out from your hip, then return it to neutral position (toes straight up). Rotate the entire leg.

Straight leg raise

  • Recline on your back, resting on your elbows.
  • Bend your uninvolved leg.
  • Straighten your operated leg as much as you can, tightening the muscles on top of the thigh.
  • Raise your heel off the floor or bed about  inches. Hold for five seconds, then slowly lower and relax.

Hamstring sets

  • Sit with your leg slightly bent.
  • Without moving your leg, tighten the muscles on the back of your leg.
  • Try to push your heel down.

Short arc quad

  • Sit on a flat surface with your hands behind you for support.
  • Bend your uninvolved leg.
  • Place a rolled-up bath towel under the knee of your operated leg.
  • Straighten your operated leg by lifting your foot toward the ceiling, keeping your knee on the towel roll. Then slowly lower your foot.

Sitting knee extension

  • Sit with your legs bent to 90 degrees.
  • Straighten your operated leg at your knee.
  • Return to starting position.

Hip extension

  • Stand holding on to a table or wall for balance.
  • Extend your operated leg backward, keeping your knee straight.
  • Return to the starting position.

Heel and toe raises

  • Stand up, using a counter for balance.
  • Raise up on your toes as high as you can. Return to starting position and repeat.
  • Next, put your weight on your heels and raise your toes. Return to starting position and repeat.

Knee squats

  • Stand on both feet, holding on to a counter or wall for balance if needed.
  • Bend your knees to 45 degrees. Be sure to keep good low-back posture. Don't let your knees go past the end of your toes.
  • Return to the starting position.


The best exercises to do prior to surgery are walking and closed-chain exercises.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.