Is Your Hip Arthritis or Hip Replacement Impacting Your Summer Activities?
One of the first questions I would always ask clients as part of their initial consultation prior to starting exercise, was, “What hobbies, sports, or daily activities do you engage in that are an important part of your life you hope or need to maintian?” You learn a lot about someone just by finding out what their daily routine looks like and what is important to them. This brought up so many answers and sometimes it gave me necessary information like the grandparents who were the main caretakers for their grand children and needed to be able to pick them up daily.
Have you given up or stopped what you love doing? or
Are there things you want to do, but are afraid you can’t do them?
Yes, there will be some decisions you will have to make around giving up or limiting specific activities that are too high risk or cause you pain; however, there is a mindset that sometimes unconsciously assumes or avoids certain activities out of fear, airing on the cautious side, and exercise guidelines that may have outrun their time limit.
Functional Exercises Prepare You For Real Life, Everyday Movements
Functional exercises are a great way to test out movements you will require for your sport, hobby, or daily demands in a controlled, deliberate environment. Implementing functional exercises into your training routine will build your confidence in learning what you are able to do, how to do it properly or modified for your unique concerns, and how your body will respond to the newly introduced movement pattern.
Here are a few examples:
Functional Exercises for Golfing:
You can still golf with hip arthritis and post hip replacement depending on how many months it is past your surgery date and your recovery. The biggest concerns or setbacks I saw with golfers were the following:
- Not building up enough stamina and endurance walking post surgery to endure the golf course
- Sore backs due to weak core stabilizing muscles
- Pain in the non affected leg due to over using it
- Upset in poor performance due to a decrease in flexibility
Here are some functional exercises for you Hip Golfers:
- Rotational Stretches for the Torso both Static & Dynamic
- Band, Cable, & Plyoball or Kettlebell Wood Chopper Exercises
- Deep Lower Abdominal Exercises for Your Transverse Abdominals and Pelvic Floor to stabilize your back
- 1 leg exercises and 1 leg balance exercises
- Endurance walking with gradual increases
Functional Exercises for Gardening:
A 90 year old hip replacement client who also had double knee replacement loved gardening and lived alone with her dog. She fell once when she was gardening on her own and it took her a while to get up.
Functional Exercises for Gardening & Getting up off the Floor
Here are a few functional exercises we practiced with her:
- Free Squats with Arm & Torso Reaches
- Floor to Standing Modifications to Get up off the ground
- Upper Body Push & Pull Movements
- Balance Exercises on Unstable Surfaces to mimic unstable ground surfaces
Functional Exercises for Boaters – Getting In & Out of a Boat or Kayak
Stepping on and off a boat is unstable for most people let alone anyone with hip arthritis or a hip replacement. Depending on the boat, it can require a big step in which requires hip flexibility, hip flexion strength, and stability and strength on the first leg leading into the boat.
A few functional exercises to prepare for boating:
- 1 leg balance exercises holding for 10 seconds
- Rocker Board Balancing with dynamic challenges like ball toses
- Hip Flexor Stretches & Range of Motion
- Core Stability & Center of Gravity Challenge Games on 1 leg
*Please note the above hip flexor stretch is not advised if you have had anterior hip incision surgery within the last 3 months. Follow your Doctors or Physiotherapists guidelines.*
Know that you can prepare your body for new movements and you can test out your ability ahead of time which will build confidence.
If you have been avoiding or putting off an activity, try some exercises, get some help in programming functional exercises either with the Hip Replacement Exercise program for pre and post operation or with a personal trainer who specializes in arthritis and joint replacement.
If you would like your very own personalized functional exercise program go here.
Happy Summer Exercising & Doing the Things You Love!
ACE Medical Exercise Specialist
Creator of the ‘Hip Replacement Exercise’ Program &
‘Training the Joint Replacement Client’ Course for Personal Trainers