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Living with an Artificial Hip: Three Best Exercises

Jul 10, 2014

A regular exercise routine is critical for recovery, as well as any long-term health goals, following hip replacement surgery. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about specific exercises that you can do to strengthen your legs and make your hip joints more flexible, such as hip extensions and quadriceps setting.

There are a handful of high-impact exercises that are not allowed including contact sports, jogging, activities that involve jumping, basketball, heavy lifting, and high-impact aerobics. These activities can damage the hip or cause some of the parts to become loose. However, there are a number of lower-impact exercises for an artificial hip that aid in the healing process and can help you lose weight. It is possible to increase cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength without hurting the new hip.


Walking is one of the best exercises that you can do following hip replacement surgery. Follow your doctor’s recommendation for walking short distances with a walker, crutches, or cane until you are able to walk without an assistive device. Walking is a low-impact exercise that does not extend or strain the hip unnecessarily while still allowing you to burn calories. The average adult burns 200 calories per hour during a leisurely stroll. You can burn as much as 360 calories at a pace of four miles per hour.


You can cycle on either a standard or stationary bicycle. If you are riding a stationary bike, adjust the seat height so that the bottom of your foot just touches the pedal with your knee almost straight. Do not attempt to ride a standard bike out on the road until you feel stable, balanced, and comfortable. You do not want to risk a fall that can re-injure your hip. For the average adult, moderate-intensity cycling burns 615 calories in an hour and an hour of stationary biking burns approximately 490 calories.


Typically it takes about four weeks for surgical wounds to heal. Swimming reconditions the muscles that support your new hip while also burning calories. You can burn approximately 430 calories in an hour of moderate-intensity swimming. Consider taking a water aerobics class that includes specific exercises that target muscle strengthening.

Are you interested in picking up a new hobby after your hip replacement surgery? If you’re looking for something different, cross-country skiing can be a great option. While downhill skiing comes with a high risk of injury, cross-country skiing provides a rigorous workout without putting excessive strain on the hip muscles. You can burn up to 800 calories during an hour of cross-country skiing. As such, it is important to pace yourself to prevent overexertion.

If you’re looking for additional exercise options following hip replacement surgery, consider moderate weight training, riding a horse, golfing, dancing, and doubles tennis.