Are you someone who has just gone through surgery on a knee or hip?
Or maybe you recently injured one of those, working out at the gym or while running?
It doesn’t matter how it happens, what does matter is the fact that it becomes harder for you to perform strengthening exercises without re-injuring yourself.
Some people are able to work through it, some even work through it against their doctor’s orders.
What if I told you there was a way to prevent yourself from further injury, increase your recovery time, and get stronger in the process?
Do I have your attention yet?
When coming out of surgery or after an injury, the best exercises you can perform are isometric knee and hip exercises.
Isometric exercises you say?
Yes, the great thing about isometrics is you can push and activate your muscles without ever having to move them. A great example is a wall sit exercise where you hold yourself in a chair position against a wall.
Livestrong says, “Isometric exercises are beneficial because they do not add a lot of stress to your joints. They are great for use in rehabilitation and for increasing your strength”. So dealing with an injured or recovering hip or knee, let’s take a look at four isometric exercises you can use to continue strengthening your legs and speed up recovery time.
Isometric Exercises to Strengthen Your Knees and Hips
#1 Quad Set
In a quad set, we will be focusing on strengthening the quad muscle. You should feel muscle activation on the top of your leg when performing this isometric exercise.
As you are sitting up on the floor, place your leg flat on the ground. It is preferred to place a foam roll or a rolled up towel underneath your knee in this exercise.
Now, with the towel or foam roll underneath your knee, squeeze your quad muscle by pushing your knee into the ground. As you’re squeezing your quad, you will want to continue squeezing for a total of 3-5 seconds and then release.
The goal is to push as hard as you can, but comfortably, you shouldn’t force any pain.
Once you finish that, repeat it for both legs up to 10 sets for the 3-5 second holds.
#2 Hamstring Set
Now that we worked the quad part of the leg let’s focus on the hamstrings.
The goal of this isometric exercise is to activate the back part of your leg, your hamstrings.
As you are sitting up on the floor, bend one knee up and put your heel down on the floor so that your foot is in the shape of a V.
In that position, push down on your heel as hard as you can, yet comfortably, for 3-5 seconds then relax, and repeat up to 10 sets.
This is a simple exercise that will get you a nice burn and muscle activation in your hamstrings all while protecting your joints and current injuries.
#3 Hip Abduction
Well, we can’t work the front and back of the legs without also hitting the sides of them, now can we?
The hip abduction isometric exercise will help work on the outer glute muscles.
With that said, the goal of a hip abduction is to activate the muscles in your outer glutes.
First, you will want to be seated on the floor with your knees bent up and feet flat on the floor.
Now to spice things up, take a strap or belt and strap it just above your knees on the lower thigh area.
Just like you would with a Chinese finger trap, try to pull your knees outward away from each other.
Push as hard as you can for 3-5 seconds and then release.
By the end of your tenth set, you should be feeling a nice burn in your outer glutes.
#4 Hip Adduction
Now that we targeted the outer thighs, let’s focus on the inner thigh area.
The goal of a hip adduction is to activate your inner thigh muscles by pushing inwards.
So to start, sit up with your feet flat on the floor. You can place a ball, pillow or your hand in between your knees to push against. For this example, we will use a pillow.
Now, hold your pillow on the inside of your knees and squeeze them together as hard as you can.
Squeeze inward, holding that pressure for 3-5 seconds before you release.
Isometric Knee and Hip Exercises Video
Final Thoughts on Isometric Knee and Hip Exercises
Dealing with an injury or a recovering hip or knee is no joke.
Use these four isometric knee and hip exercises to continue strengthening your legs and speed up your recovery time.
Livestrong says, “when you are nursing an injury back to health, isometrics are great for rebuilding strength in that area just by holding for 10 seconds at a time”. It is also best to start with 10 sets, but you should focus on increasing those numbers the stronger you become.
It is also important to make sure you are performing these exercises comfortably, especially after an injury or surgery, involving a knee or hip. You shouldn’t feel pain when performing these exercises.