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No other joint wears out as often as hips.

That’s why it’s all the more important to train your muscles to support them.

It’s all about stretching and strengthening, explains Dr Lukas Konstantinidis, a senior orthopaedic specialist from southern Germany.

He advises that the following exercises be done two to three times a week.

Exercise 1: Warm up the hip muscles

Some people will remember air cycling from their childhood days – this is the same exercise.

Lie on your back so that your entire spine is in contact with the ground.

Raise your legs in a bent position and imitate pedalling in the air.

Exercise 2: Stretch your flexor muscles

Stand with your upper body straight and in a striding or mid-walk position.

The back knee is extended and the front knee is slightly bent.

Shift the body’s centre of gravity to the front leg and push the pelvis forward.

Now stretch the arm upwards on the side of the leg stretched backwards and tilt the upper body to the other side.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and then switch sides.

Exercise 3: Strengthen hip flexors

For this, you will need a stretchy fitness band.

Tie one end around a stable object that is unlikely to move, for example, a table leg.

Place one foot inside the loop so that the band is slightly taut around your ankle, facing away from the table leg.

Take a step forward with the free leg, which should be slightly bent.

Now pull the leg in the fitness band forward against the resistance and put it back again.

Repeat about 15 times, alternately moving the arms back and forth as if jogging.

Then do the exercise with the other side.

These exercises will help tone and strengthen your hip muscles, but it’s very important to remember that if you have acute pain, you should rest the joint instead of exercising.

In general, never continue exercises if they cause pain.

There are many causes of hip pain, and if you are experiencing it, you should get it checked out by a specialist as soon as possible. – dpa



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