It is absolutely necessary for seniors to increase the strength of their hips. Hip weakness is one of the greatest factors that contribute to falls and injuries. To reduce the chances of being injured from hip weakness, you must perform a few regular exercises. The National Institute of Health recommends the following movements to help stave off future injury as the result of weakened hips.
Side Leg Raises
The performance of side leg raises will help strengthen the muscles around hips and thighs which is a key necessity for good balance. You will get yourself in position to perform this exercise by standing straight up behind a table or sturdy chair. Place your feet so they are just slightly apart. Hold the chair or table to provide balance before slowly lifting up one leg about 6 to 12 inches to the side. While doing this, you need to hold your back straight as well as both legs. Avoid pointing your toes down as you raise the leg up. Make sure they continue to face forward as you perform the movement. When you reach the top of the lift, hold the position for a brief moment before lowering back down. The next leg raise will occur with the opposite leg. Continue to alternate legs until you have performed 8 to 15 raises for each leg. When complete, rest for a few moments, and then do another set of 8 to 15 reps.
The hip flexion exercise is one that will provide additional muscle strength in the hip and thighs to help provide balance. This is an exercise that you can increase intensity by using ankle weights. However, do not do this unless you are ready. Get your body in position for this exercise by standing up tall while holding onto a chair or table. The movement starts when you slowly lift up one leg directly in front of you. As you do this lift, bend your knee without bending the hips or waist area. As you lift the bent knee up, go as high as possible towards the chest, hold the position for a moment, and then slowly lower back down. Take a second to pause with both feet on the ground, and then lift the opposite leg in the same manner. Continue to alter legs each time until you complete 8 to 15 reps with both legs. Take a few minutes to rest, and then begin one more set of 8 to 15 hip flexions.
This exercise will help improve strength in the buttocks and lower-back muscles in addition to the hip area. Continued muscle strength in these areas is required to maintain a good balance structure. Place your body so that you are about 12 to 18 inches away from a chair or table with your feet slightly separated. Bend your body forward at the hip area so your upper body is positioned at a 45 degree angle. Grab the chair or table with your hands to provide balance. Start the exercise by lifting one leg backwards without bending the knee, toes, or twisting your upper body any further forward. When you reach the highest point you can lift, hold the leg still for a moment, then lower it back to the ground. When you reach the starting position, pause briefly, and then do the same thing with the other leg. Continue to alternate leg lifts until you have completed 8 to 15 for each leg. Take a few minutes to rest, and then complete another full set.
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