What Exercises Should You Not Do with Hip Arthritis?

Hip arthritis causes breakdown of cartilage in hip joint (Image by Dane Wetton)
Hip arthritis causes breakdown of cartilage in hip joint (Image by Dane Wetton)
Tooba Hashmi

Hip arthritis is the breakdown of cartilage in the hip joint. It's a common condition that can be unpleasant and can worsen with time, limiting movement and lowering your quality of life. Exercise can help people with hip arthritis improve their mobility and reduce pain and stiffness. Certain exercises, on the other hand, may aggravate the pain.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most frequent type of hip arthritis. It is a widespread joint disease that affects more than 32.5 million people in the United States. OA is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis by doctors. As the cartilage cushioning the bones in the afflicted joints breaks down, the situation worsens.

Hip arthritis produces discomfort and stiffness, making it difficult to participate in many physical activities. To help reduce arthritic pain and increase mobility, many patients with hip arthritis exercise on their own or with the support of a physical therapist.


Exercises to avoid if you have arthritis

Those with hip arthritis should avoid certain forms of workouts. Some movements raise joint impact force, putting the joints under more stress and perhaps causing hip discomfort in someone with OA.

During exercise, the body generates force by bearing weight and impact from the ground. The hip joint must absorb this impact that moves upward from the foot for the body to recover posture and strength. People with hip arthritis should avoid the following exercises:

1) Exercises with hip bending

Many hip-pain exercises need some hip bending, but certain activities put too much strain on your hips. Any exercise that creates additional tension and pain when bending at the hips should be avoided. Try workouts that entail greater knee bending rather than hip bending. These exercises are designed to relieve stress on the hips while strengthening the muscles that support them.


2) Uneven terrain exercises

Exercising on uneven ground, such as stairs or while hiking outdoors, adds to the stress on your hips. This could exacerbate your pain and stiffness. These exercises also raise your chances of falling and sustaining a major injury. Rather, concentrate on stationary workouts that you can do while standing, sitting, or lying still.

3) High-intensity workouts

Running is one of the most popular ways to keep active. On the other hand, it might be uncomfortable if you have hip arthritis. Running is a high-impact activity that causes shock to travel up your legs, hips, and lower back. To stay fit and lessen the strain on your hips, try swimming or bicycling instead of running.

4) Exercising with weights

Exercises that require you to lift big weights with your legs put more strain on your hips. Avoid these workouts and instead concentrate on activities that only need your body weight.

Your physical therapist may suggest adding light weights or other resistance-increasing activities to match your needs if you show improvement. To stay fit and lessen the strain on your hips, try swimming or bicycling instead of running.


5) Prolonged bouts of standing

Standing for long periods puts load on the joints, exacerbating pain. To relieve the pressure on the hips, a person can try practising exercises while resting or sitting down, or in a swimming pool. Alternatively, they can limit themselves to short-duration standing workouts.


While patients with hip arthritis may want to avoid certain activities because they aggravate pain and other symptoms, other routines can benefit.

1) Aerobic workouts with a low impact

Low-impact aerobic workouts, including jogging, elliptical training, and cycling, may help people with hip arthritis improve joint mobility and movement. However, high-impact aerobic workouts such as sprinting and jumping rope should be avoided.

2) Stretching

Stretching regularly keeps a joint's complete range of motion and keeps it from becoming stiff from lack of use or exercise. It can lower your chances of injury. Before conducting stretching exercises, a person must relax stiff joints. Heated pads or a warm bath can help them achieve this.

3) Exercising your joint mobility

These activities, like stretching, help people improve their flexibility and balance in the hip socket. They may help a person's mobility and physical functioning in this way.


Hip arthritis can make it difficult for some people to carry out daily tasks. Exercise is frequently used in the treatment of hip arthritis. However, proper advice and education are required to prevent performing exercises that aggravate the illness.

Some workouts exert more strain on the joints, leading to more discomfort. A doctor or physical therapist can assist a person in developing an appropriate fitness programme.

Edited by Sabine Algur


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