What's a good exercise plan for osteoarthritis of the hip?

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Exercise is vital for overall health, especially if you have osteoarthritis of the hip. Before you begin any exercise program, however, make sure to consult a professional, such as a physical therapist. A physical therapist, or another exercise professional, will provide you with exercise guidelines. You will likely benefit from a regular exercise program that includes low-impact aerobics, such as swimming, water aerobics or cycling [source: AAOS]. You should engage in aerobic activities most days of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes each day [source: VHCT].

A good exercise plan for osteoarthritis of the hip also includes strengthening exercises. Strengthening exercises involve the use of free weights or weight machines [source: NIAMS]. Engage in strengthening exercises two to three times per week [source: VHCT]. A physical trainer can provide you with a strengthening routine that takes into consideration your needs and overall health. Finally, your exercise plan should also include range of motion exercises. These exercises typically involve gentle stretching, especially around the hip and leg regions, such as the hip flexor stretch and the piriformis stretch. You should do range of motion exercises every day [source: VHCT].


Your exercise plan is an important part of your osteoarthritis treatment and it should not be taken lightly. In fact, a well-balanced and regular exercise plan can reduce overall hip pain, decrease morning stiffness, increase flexibility, increase everyday mobility and nourish your hip-joint cartilage [source: VHCT]. A regular exercise program can also help you lose weight if necessary. Weight loss can drastically decrease your osteoarthritis symptoms and the pressure on your hip. Moreover, an effective exercise plan can decrease your risk for further hip complications related to osteoarthritis. Overall, a good exercise plan can greatly improve your quality of life [source: NIAMS].