By Jo Cordell-Cooper*
AS a water-based exercise specialist, I regularly meet clients for exercise programs to help tone and strengthen leg muscles in the lead up to and weeks following hip surgery.
While it is good advice to go into surgery with as much fitness as possible, it can be quite another thing to find exercises that do not create pain.
Be sensible, a little discomfort is appropriate – intense pain during or after is not helpful.
It’s actually a bit difficult to provide a clear guideline on paper as everyone is different.
But, generally, water-based exercise bridges the gap and gives some great options in the lead up, and of course after surgery too.
Here are my top four exercises that will help retain hip strength prior to surgery:
In deep water, use a noodle behind you and under your arms to keep you buoyant. Now stretch out front and back mimicking a cross-country skiing action. Keep shoulders over the hips and ankles as deep as possible. This tones the buttocks and thighs.
Again in deep water and using a buoyant aid, cycle your legs like you have really big pedals on a bike. Again, have shoulders over hips and ankles deep. This tones thighs and hamstrings, as well as buttocks if you really stretch and lengthen.
Suspended in deep water, this move is on the spot. Sit like you are on a chair and widen your knees. Without moving your hips, extend one leg and bend the other to touch your own bottom. Bend, straighten and repeat, Think of a Russian Cossack dancer – that’s the move – it’s just suspended in water. This tones the thigh muscles, focusing on the quad or front of the thigh.
Come to the pool edge and have everything in contact with the poolside. Keep the hips still and lift the heel to kick the bottom – left, right, bend, straighten. This tones the thigh muscles, focusing on the hamstrings (back of the thigh).
There are many exercises in addition to these that will ensure you are in the best shape possible prior to your surgery.
And if you are confident with these movements when you have recovered, you can return to the pool with your body already familiar with these movements and pick up where you left off.
A word of warning though – take the advice of your surgeon regarding the suitability of the first two exercises.
It does depend on where the surgical cut is as to whether these moves suit.
Please make contact if this is of interest to you, as much can be achieved in a 30-minute session at the pool to ensure an appropriate program to you.
Thirty-minute sessions are available at Friends Health & Fitness and can be booked with Jo Cordell-Cooper directly on 0409 862 206.
All 30-minute sessions come with a written program for you to take away and work with at your own convenience.
*Jo Cordell-Cooper is the owner of the award-winning business Active Solutions and Health Network. Make contact by emailing email@example.com or phone 0409 862 206.