5 exercises to avoid when you have hip pain

Hip pain can have a major impact on your daily life. Whether it’s caused by a sudden injury or a chronic underlying condition, receiving the right treatment is important. As one of the most effective methods for treating hip pain, physical therapy is a popular choice. Physical therapy treatments including manual therapy and gentle exercise can be a great way to address your hip pain. While the right treatments can help alleviate your painful symptoms, improper treatment can make your condition worse. When you have hip pain, knowing which exercises to avoid is essential. Certain exercises can put more strain on your hips, which can lead to worsened symptoms like pain and swelling. Learning which hip pain exercises to engage in and which ones to avoid can be valuable as you work toward lasting relief.

Hip pain exercises to avoid

  • High-impact sports — If you play sports or participate in other frequent athletic activities, having to take a break can be frustrating. Some people continue to engage in high-impact sports while ignoring their hip pain. This can be risky, potentially leading to further discomfort and even injury. When you feel hip pain, try to avoid exercises like running, jumping and jogging. These high-impact cardio activities tend to put a lot of stress on the hips. When your hips are already vulnerable, this can be dangerous.
  • Deep squats — Deep squats can strain the hip joint and aggravate pain. This is because squats concentrate much of the body’s weight on the hips. Deep squats that involve heavy weights can be especially harmful. If you are experiencing hip pain, exercises that put significant pressure on your hips are good to avoid.
  • Leg presses — The leg press machine is an exercise tool commonly found in fitness gyms. This machine works to simulate a motion similar to squatting. While leg presses can be a good exercise for your quad muscles, they should be avoided to prevent worsened hip pain. A leg press machine can compress the hip joint, which can lead to exacerbated pain and other symptoms.
  • Crunches — Sit-ups and crunches can strain the hip flexor muscles. This can increase your pain, especially if the crunches are done with improper form. Variations of crunching such as bicycle crunches can also be harmful. If you already have a strained hip flexor, resting is a vital part of the recovery process. Avoiding intense exercises can be one of the best ways to prevent hip pain.
  • Burpees — Burpees are a fast-paced exercise often used as a way to warm up at the start of a session. When you have hip pain, it may be safer to warm up in a different way. Burpees involve jumping, squatting and planking. All of these activities can aggravate hip discomfort.

Effective alternative exercises

  • Gentle stretching — Incorporating light stretches into your exercise routine can be a great way to help alleviate your hip pain while working out. Exercises that gently stretch your hip flexors and hamstring can help improve hip flexibility. Simple stretches like the butterfly stretch can be great for helping you recover from hip pain. By improving flexibility, you can also help reduce the risk of future hip injuries.
  • Modified squats — While deep squats are an exercise to avoid when you have hip pain, you can modify the exercise to accommodate your condition. Squat modifications include wall slides and mini-squats. You may want to try partial squats, making sure your hips do not get too low. This will allow you to work out the same regions in the legs without putting excess stress on your hips.
  • Hip abduction machine — A hip abduction machine is a piece of fitness equipment designed to build core stability. To use one of these machines, sit upright in the seat and place your knees against the side pads. Slowly press your legs to the sides and widen your hips. If you are experiencing hip pain, you may want to keep the machine’s resistance low. This will help you to safely build stability in your hip muscles without overloading any joints.

Lattimore Physical Therapy can help you practice the right hip exercises

When you have hip pain, it is important to carefully consider which physical activities you can engage in safely. With frequent one-on-one sessions and tailored exercise plans, Lattimore Physical Therapy can help you stay active while putting your hip health first. Our physical therapists work with a range of treatment strategies to help each patient find rapid and enduring relief from their hip pain.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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