Straight leg lift, side-​lying

warning exclamation markSafety first!
Read safety
basics here

What it’s good for Strengthens the outside-​hip muscles and helps to keep hip bones strong. Everyday bene­fits include:

  • Crucial for proper walk­ing
  • Helps you step safely side­ways to get out of the way in a hurry, without fall­ing over
  • Helps to pad and pro­tect your hip bones
How often to do it Daily
Equipment you’ll need A mat, rug, car­pet, towel or any­thing else you can lie on com­fort­ably on the floor
Possibly one or two cush­ions for pad­ding any bony bits that are uncom­fort­able when you lie on your side

Lying on side with bottom knee drawn in towards chest, top leg long, for start of exercise

  • Lie on one side with your hips, knees and feet neatly stacked in a straight line
  • Draw the under­neath leg in towards you, so the bot­tom knee is bent
  • Rest your top arm in front of you, using the hand to help with your bal­ance

Side-lying with top leg long and lifted into the air at top of movement

  • Keeping the top leg com­pletely straight, lift it up to hip height and hold it there for a count of 5. Make sure your pel­vis (hips) stays still and doesn’t sag down­wards as you lift your leg
  • Carefully lower your leg
  • Rest a moment, then repeat

Aim to do 10 raises on one side, then turn over and repeat on the other side.

♦ If you have trouble keep­ing the top leg straight, push away into your heel through­out the lift; this should help

Cannot do this at all? If you are find­ing this impossible, try the Clam instead

Varying the exer­cise for more chal­lenge

Once you can do this, you need to make the exer­cise a bit harder to con­tinue strength­en­ing your muscles. Firstly, add another set of 10 to your daily routine. Then move on to these other exer­cises in order of dif­fi­culty below.

The pro­gres­sions

1. Straighten the bot­tom leg

Lying on side, both legs long in line with your body, at start of movement

Try the exer­cise with both legs straight out – but still lift­ing just the top leg: it is a harder bal­ance chal­lenge. Be sure to keep both legs in line with your body (not behind it), so check you can see your toes when you glance down

3. Straight leg lift, lying, with leg weight
Use the low­est leg weight to start with, and build up gradu­ally, fol­low­ing the same instruc­tions as for straight leg lift

4. Side leg lifts, stand­ing (with leg weight)
This adds a bal­ance chal­lenge and vari­ety. Click here to see how to do it.

Increase Text Size Increase Text Size

Comments are closed.