During the mid-stage exercises progress to gentle strengthening, gradually increasing the load on the joint and through the recovering tissues. Balance and proprioception training usually begins.
Hip Extension with Band
Hip adduction is the movement of bringing the leg across the body. This is used in kicking. A resistance band can be used as shown. Stand with the band around one ankle and attached to a fixed point in front. Use something to hold onto if you need to. Keeping the leg straight extend the hip as far as comfortable and return to the start position. Keep the hips square on facing forwards and perform the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. You should feel it working the buttock muscles.
- Gluteus Maximus.
- Hamstring strains.
Eccentric Hip Adduction Exercise
Eccentric exercises focus on strengthening the muscle whilst it lengthens (rather than shortens). This happens to control a movement. So, in this case, a therapist applies a force and the patient slows it down. The athlete is positioned on their back and the therapist at their foot end. The therapist forcefully moves the leg out to the side and the patient controls and slows down the movement.
- The groin muscles
Hip Adduction with Band
Hip adduction is the movement of bringing the leg across the body. This is used in kicking. The piriformis muscle is a small muscle found deep in the buttocks. It can be troublesome, especially in runners and can result in nerve compression and sciatica symptoms. To strengthen the hip abductors on the outside of the joint, the athlete starts with a resistance band anchored to a doorway or chair leg and wrapped around the ankle. The leg is taken out to the side as far as possible, before slowly returning to the starting position.
- Groin muscles
Bent Leg Hip Flexion With Band
Hip flexion is the movement of bringing the thigh forwards. Performing this exercise with the knee bent reduces the input from the quads and uses mainly the Iliopsoas muscle. The patient lies on their back with the band wrapped around the thigh and ankle as shown. They then pull the knee up towards the body, keeping it slightly bent at all times. Slowly return to the start position and repeat.
The bridge exercise is a great one for strengthening the bum muscles and the hamstrings. It can be used in rehabilitation and also for toning purposes. The athlete starts lying on their back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. They tend to raise the buttocks and lower back up off the floor as high as possible. Ensure to really squeeze the glute muscles. This position can be held for as long as required. Slowly return to the start position and repeat.
- The glutes
- The hamstrings
The hip raise exercise (sometimes called hip drop or hip hitch) is a great one for runners suffering from hip or knee pain. It strengthens the muscles responsible for the level of the hips when standing on one leg. The starting point for this exercise is sideways on a step with one leg unsupported. The unsupported leg is lowered towards the ground from the hip. The knees of both legs stay straight throughout. Drop the foot as low as possible before reversing the movement to list the hip as high as possible. This works the muscles around the hip on the standing leg.
- Gluteus Medius
- Gluteus Minimus
Lateral Hip Rotation with Band
This lateral rotation (external rotation) exercise works the muscles in the bum, called the glutes. It is helpful for people whose knees rotate inwards when running! To work the hip rotators in the buttock, the athlete lies on their front with the band wrapped around the ankle as shown and the knee bent. The hip is rotated outwards so that the involved ankle moves across the other leg.
- Gluteus medius
- Gluteus maximus
- Gluteus minimus
Medial Hip Rotation with Band
The medial rotators (sometimes called internal rotators) are muscles around the hip which turn the thigh inwards. They can be worked using a resistance band, as shown here. To work the hip rotators, the athlete lies on their front, with the band wrapped around the ankle as shown and the knee bent. The hip is rotated so that the ankle moves away from the band's attachment point.
- Adductor Magnus