Most people are familiar with straight leg raises as an exercise for the quads (front of the thigh), but there is also a variation that will help to strengthen the muscles around your hip.
Weak hip muscles can contribute to a range of problems. As it is a ball and socket joint, the hip is vulnerable to damage from over extension and falls, particularly in the elderly.
This is an essential area, used in everyday movements like walking, climbing stairs, standing up, squatting, so it pays to keep it healthy.
You can do this by maintaining bone mass, through diet and weight bearing exercises, and maintaining the strength of the surrounding muscles.
To perform these particular straight leg raises, start by lying on your side on a comfortable surface - a carpeted floor or an exercise mat. You want to have your injured leg, or the one you are working, on the top.
The exercise is as follows:
- Tighten the muscles on the front of the thigh (the quads) of your top leg to keep your knee straight.
- Lift your injured leg upwards until it is about 12 inches (30 cm) off the ground.
- Pause for five seconds
- Slowly lower back to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 - 20 times.
You can do three sets of 10 - 20 reps, this will help to build the muscles in the area.
When you do this exercise be sure to keep your hip and leg in line with the rest of your body, your knee pointing forward.