Exercise Machines to Avoid for Hip Replacements

Girl workout on leg press
Stay out of the wheelchair by choosing the right rehabilitative exercises. (Image: targovcom/iStock/Getty Images)

Hip replacement is a serious procedure. However, with proper rehabilitation you can regain all previous strength and range of motion. The best rehabilitation involves careful planning and exercise routines. When considering exercise, make sure to avoid any machines that might cause injury or have other negative impacts on your recovery. Consult with your doctor and physical therapist before beginning an exercise routine after surgery.

Leg Press

A leg press machine is designed to increase muscle strength in your calves, quadriceps and hamstrings. A leg press machine requires you to sit in a slightly reclined position, placing your feet on a flat surface that is connected to weights. This exercise is especially bad if you have had a hip replacement because it forces your legs toward your chest with weight. Exercising on this machine can cause significant pain and ruin the results of your hip replacement.

Four-Way Hip Machine

The four-way hip machine features four hip exercises: flexion, extension, abduction and adduction. Flexion is the motion when you bring your knee toward your chest. Extension is the opposite, when you push your leg away from you. Abduction is when you move your leg out, away from your body to the side, and adduction is when you move your leg across your body. A four-way hip machine allows you to perform any of these exercises with weight while standing up. However, trying to move your legs in these directions under the force of weight is dangerous after a hip replacement.

Inner Thigh Adductor

The inner thigh adductor is similar to the four-way hip machine, but it focuses on one type of motion. With an inner thigh adductor, you sit with your legs on the outside of two padded arms. The arms are hooked to weights that resist as you try to bring your legs together. Pushing inward against weight has detrimental effects on your hip replacement, pulling your legs against sensitive joints and tendons.

Considerations

Hip replacement rehabilitation is a slow process. At first, you should avoid any exercises that move your entire leg in any way. The majority of hip replacement exercises encourage range of motion, often abbreviated as ROM. Use machines like stationary bikes, treadmills and ellipticals to encourage ROM. Avoid any machine that uses weighted resistance against your hips. Before engaging in any exercise during recovery, consult your doctor or physical therapist.

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