Patrick A. Meere, M.D.

Great Exercises for After a Hip Replacement

Once you have had a hip replacement, you’ll probably be eager to get out and test it. That’s all well and good, and your new joint will certainly help you participate in fun activities that you have had to stop doing or have never been able to try before. Still, it takes time for your hip to be at a healed place, and it’s important that you take things slow as you get back into activities. We can have a conversation about what activities are appropriate following your procedure, and your options will depend on the extent of your initial damage. Because certain techniques limit the level of mobility in different directions, the exercises you can enjoy will also depend on type of surgery that took place. While it is important to consult both your physical therapist and surgeon before starting an exercise regimen, here are a few approaches you can think of as possible options for when you are ready.

Swimming

Throw on your bathing suit and wade into the water! Swimming is an excellent exercise option for several reasons. First, it is low impact, meaning you won’t have to wait too long to start up following your procedure. Second, it is a wonderful aerobic challenge and can help strengthen several areas of your body at once. Finally, it’s fun! If you haven’t been swimming since since you were a kid, it’s a great way to relive the days of your youth and feel refreshed.

Walking

Although you might not feel up to running very soon after your procedure, you can still hit up your regular trails as you walk. Walking is a great way to stay mobile without putting too much stress on your new joint. It can also be quite relaxing. You can take time to observe and reflect on your surroundings, whether you are strolling through a garden or hitting the action-packed streets of New York.

Tennis

Tennis is action-packed and competitive–but still doesn’t place too much pressure on your hips. That means that whether you are playing solo or teaming up for doubles, you can enjoy your time on the court without constantly worrying about joint pain keeping you from hitting that winning shot.

Bicycling

Love the feeling of wheels on the road? If so, bicycling might be the ideal exercise for you as you completely recover from a hip replacement. At first, a stationary bike might be the best option for getting into the swing of peddling using your new joint. Sooner than you think, however, you can graduate up to a standard bicycle and explore the world from behind your handlebars.

Yoga

Although we wouldn’t recommend that you do complicated poses, basic stretches and techniques founded in yoga are often great for helping stretch your muscles and relieving pain that might develop because of your body adjusting to a new hip. Before you start a new class or jump into an at-home program, do your research or notify your instructor about your situation.

All patients and hip replacements are unique, and the exercise that works great for your sibling, best friend, or a stranger online might not be the right fit for you. It’s important that you continue with the instructions that your physical therapist provides, and be mindful not to push yourself too hard as you get back into exercising. If something causes pain or doesn’t feel right, stop. If you have questions along the way, I would be happy to assist you.