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Your Hip

Anatomy of the Hip

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint where the head of the femur articulates with the cuplike acetabulum of the pelvic bone.

Thigh Muscle Exercises

The exercises below are designed to increase the strength of the muscle which operate the knee. These are important for proper rehabilitation of the knee both after injury and/or surgery, and with conditions such as kneecap pain (chondromalacia).

Straight Leg Raising Exercises (SLR)
This exercise is done while lying on your back. The knee should be kept completely straight when you start the exercise and should remain so until you finish. You should place a pillow beneath your heel in order to allow the knee to rest in a straight position between raises.

Bend one knee to 90 degrees (Figure 1). Do 15 leg raises with the opposite leg bringing the thigh to a position level with the bent knee. Do this exercise 2-3 times per day. You may add weight to your ankle as your thigh muscles increase in strength. Add enough weight so that you can still do 15 lifts; in this way, the amount of weight is adjusted to the capability of your thigh muscles.

2. Isometric Quadriceps Exercises
With the heel on a pillow, make the knee very straight by tightening the thigh muscles and holding it tight for a count of 10 to 15. This should be done in four sets of 15 contractions, at least three times per day.

3. Short Arc Extension Exercises
These should be done with caution! If they cause pain, discontinue the exercises. In the sitting position, with the knee in a straight position and with weight on the ankle, allow the knee to bend not more than 30 degrees. Then, straighten the knee 15 times. Once again, four sets of 15 lifts, three times per day, are appropriate.

4. Hamstring Exercises
In order to strengthen the muscles on the back of the thigh, lie in the prone (face down) position, place a weight on the ankle, and lift the foot, bending the leg at the knee. Again, four sets of 15 lifts, three times per day, should be done, adjusting the weight according to your capabilities.

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