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Exercises to Improve Walking With a Limp

author image Jason Aberdeene
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.
Exercises to Improve Walking With a Limp
Exercises to improve walking with a limp will help reduce your limp. Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Exercises to improve walking with a limp are designed to strengthen your leg and lower torso muscles in such a way that your limp is reduced. While some limps are caused by temporary muscle and bone injuries, others are more chronic and can only be mended through surgical procedures. Tight hamstrings and iliotibial band syndrome are other causes of a limp.

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Leg Cross Exercise

The leg cross exercise will help loosen your iliotibial band, improving flexibility and reducing your limp. The iliotibial band is a band that runs from the top of your pelvis down to your tibia. Excessive friction caused by your iliotibial band on your knee as well as your hip can cause ITBS, which can often result in a limp or gait. To reduce these symptoms, stand up straight with your knees slightly bent. Cross your legs, placing one leg behind the other. Bend forward, extending your arms toward the ground and bending your knees slightly. Hold your stretch for 10 to 15 seconds before standing back up. During the exercise, keep both of your feet flat on the floor for the duration of the exercise. Focus your exercise on the IT band that is injured although stretching both out regularly will help prevent future injuries.

Water-Resistance Exercise

Water-resistance exercises are designed to strengthen your leg muscles, indirectly reducing your limp by putting less resistance on your legs during your workout. Start by getting into one end of a pool with water that is no higher than about 5 feet. Walk across the pool in a straight line. Walk in a conscious heel-toe manner, keeping your back straight and posture erect. Work out until you are fatigued.

Leg Rotation Exercise

This exercise will help loosen up your leg and ankle muscles, helping to indirectly reduce your limp. Sit on the floor with both of your legs extended in front of you. Lift your left leg, cross it over your right leg and place your left foot on the floor. Place the elbow of your right arm onto your left knee. Push on the knee with your elbow, rotating your body to the left as you do so until you feel a stretch. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds before relaxing. Repeat on the other side.

Leg Strengthening Exercise

The leg strengthening exercise will improve strength in your leg muscles, perhaps reducing your limp in the process. Hold a weighted medicine ball in both hands while standing. Lift the ball up and over your head, while simultaneously lifting your left foot. Bring the ball down toward your left side while lifting up your right leg. Repeat this motion continuously until you are fatigued. As you improve, increase the weight of the ball you are using.

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