Reproduced from OrthoInfo. © American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Main muscles worked: Gluteus medius, abductors

You should feel this exercise at your outer thigh and buttocks

Equipment needed: Begin with a weight that allows 8 repetitions and progress to 12 repetitions. As the exercise becomes easier, add weight in 1-pound increments. Each time you increase the weight, start again at 8 repetitions, working back up to 12.

Step-by-step directions

  • Lie on your side with your injured leg on top and the bottom leg bent to provide support.
  • Straighten your top leg and slowly raise it to 45°. Keep your knee straight, but not locked.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  • Slowly lower your leg and relax it for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat, then complete exercise on the other side.

Tip: Do not turn your leg in an effort to raise it higher. The outside of your thigh should be lifted toward the ceiling.

Repetitions: 8

Days per week: 2 to 3

Download a PDF that includes more hip conditioning exercises.

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