Physical therapy can be useful for helping people manage hip arthritis symptoms. However, at some point, your arthritis progression might require a total hip replacement surgery, and physical therapists can help you recover from your surgery. 

There are many Americans who have had a hip replacement, and more are projected to need one in the near future. In fact, one medical study reports that surgeons will be performing about 635,000 total hip replacements per year by 2030. Physical therapy can be an important part of your hip replacement surgery recovery process. One way physical therapists can help you recover is to build strength in the muscles surrounding your hip, and these are two exercises that can help you meet this recovery goal: 

  1. Hip flexor lift

One group of muscles your physical therapist can help you target during hip replacement surgery recovery is your hip flexors. These muscles help pull your leg up toward your chest, and the hip flexor lift exercise can help you increase their strength after your surgery.

How to do the hip flexor lift exercise

Sit on a bed or a chair with your feet flat on the floor. You should avoid chairs that have wheels. 

Make sure to sit with good, upright posture. 

Slowly lift your recovering leg up until your foot is a few inches off the floor. 

Slowly lower your foot back to the floor. 

Repeatedly raise and lower your leg until you’ve done two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. You can increase the difficulty of the exercise by pushing down on your leg with your hands or holding your leg in the air for a few seconds. 


Another exercise that can help you build up hip muscles during your hip replacement surgery recovery is the clamshell exercise. This exercise is designed to work the hip abductors, which help pull your leg outward. 

How to do the clamshell exercise

Lie down on your non-operated side on the floor.

Place your back, butt and feet against a wall. 

Slowly open your knees as far as you can without letting your hip roll backward. Make sure to keep your feet together during this movement. 

Slowly close your knees again.

Repeat these movements until you’ve done 10 to 15 repetitions. 

You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by placing a resistance band on your thighs just above the knees. 

Let Arrow PTR help with your hip replacement surgery recovery

Anxious to find a top-notch physical therapy team that can help with your hip replacement surgery recovery? Our team at Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation is just the team you’re looking for. We offer post-surgical rehab that can be customized to help you recover from many surgical procedures. In addition, our physical therapists offer pre-surgical rehab that can help prepare your body for surgery and decrease your recovery time afterward. You’ll also be able to work with your therapist from home thanks to the at-home care and virtual therapy services we offer. 

Contact our team today for more information about our surgery recovery and preparation services or to schedule your initial appointment.