Hip Joint Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly; Standing Hip Extension

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Hip joint exercise for seniors and the elderly like the leg extensions below are an important and vital component of a good lower body strengthening program.

When practiced regularly, these exercises will add to your leg strength and balance as you age.

These exercises will firm and tone your buttock muscles as well as stretch your hip flexors.

Try not to arch your back when performing this exercise which may strain your lower back.

Strengthening these muscles will assist in walking and standing.

Add this to your workout with the correct posture and strengthen those legs!

Purpose of this exercise

  • This exercise will help with strengthening the hip muscles.
  • This will improve the ability to walk and propel  yourself forward or up stairs.

How to do it:

Step 1

Leg extension start

  • Stand, using a chair to balance yourself.

Step 2

Leg extension ending move

  • Extend your leg backward, keeping your knee straight.
  • Return to the start position and repeat 10 times with each leg.


  • Exhale during the upward movement phase.
  • Inhale during the downward movement phase.


  • Keep your body erect and ribs lifted during the movement.
  • Try to keep your  knee straight during the move.
  • Tighten your tummy muscles and keep breathing.

Take it up a notch:

  • Add a 2 to 5 pound weight to your ankle for a harder workout.
  • Use one hand, one finger or no hands to balance yourself..

Lower Body Strengthening Exercises – Watch These Exercise Videos

1. Ankle Circles

  • This exercise improves your ankle flexibility and ability to move your ankle upward and downward.
  • This is a great warm up exercise for the lower leg and feet.

2. Hip Marching

  • This exercise will strengthen your hip flexor and thighs.
  • With correct seated posture it will also help your abdominal muscles.

3. Knee Extension

  • Strengthening your knees width knee strengthening exercises will improve your ability to stand and balance.
  • This exercise will improve your available knee range of motion.

4. Calf Raises

  • Strengthening your calf muscles with calf exercises will give your more power to step forward on level surfaces or carry you up hills on uneven terrain.
  • Helps pump blood up from your legs to your upper-body and brain.

5. Standing Knee Flexion

  • These knee exercises strengthens your hamstring muscles.
  • Also helps with your standing balance.

6. Side Hip Raise

  • Safely strengthens your side hip muscles to help with hip arthritis.
  • Helps maintain your lower body endurance to better walk and side step around objects.

7.Sit to Stand

  • Excellent hip exercises to maintain your leg and hip strength.
  • One of the most important exercises used daily to keep your independence and confidence.

8. Heel Stand

  • Strengthens the front part of the lower leg with ankle stretches.
  • You will become better able to raise your toes to avoid tripping.

9. Lunges

  • To strengthen your quadriceps and hips with leg toning exercises.
  • Improve your ability to get out of a chair and balance.
  • Help you with lifting chores around the house.

10. Straight Leg Raise

  • To increase your quadriceps and hip flexor strength with this leg workout.
  • To strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Allow you to advance your leg during walking with greater ease.

11. Partial Squats

  • Increase your hip flexibility, quadriceps strength and hip flexor strength.
  • Improve your ability to get up from a chair and walk.
  • Steady your body for better balance and safety.

12. Hip Extension

  • This exercise will help with strengthening the hip joint and muscles.
  • This will improve the ability to walk and propel yourself forward or up stairs.


  1. I’m 72 and have sciatica and tight hamstrings and it is beginning to affect my right knee. So much so that it became swollen and inflamed. Cortisone shot in knee helped but I can still see the hip flexor and knee connection. Will your exercises loosen up this tightness?

    1. Yes, all the exercises here are safe and effective for seniors. Remember the golden rule: Take it slowly when beginning any exercise program. Your body “REACTS” to large changes, but “responds” to small changes. Start small.

  2. I had bariatric surgery and as a consequence I have very weak legs. I have fallen several times and I am not able to get up because I do not have enough strength in my legs. I am having a problem eating enough protein because of ulcers and the opening of the pouch healing too small. There are plans to put a balloon device down during an endowscopy procedure to enlarge the opening but now my problem is being too weak to get up if I fall.

  3. Hi. I am only 55, but following chemo, radiation and hormone treatment for breast cancer diagnosed in 2010 I have found my muscles just don’t seem to work anymore. I have had a lot of joint pain and made the decision to throw away medication. Have been to drs, podiatrists, massage therapists, chiropractor,physio and had acupuncture to try and fix chronic foot pain. I walk, dance and do aqua fitness every week but never seem to build any muscle. Am hoping that doing your leg exercises might help with the feet. I definitely have difficulty with the sitting and squatting exercises

  4. I am an active 74 year old but have noticed my legs are frequently tired and I seem to have frequent lower back pain. I’d like to know if they’re associated and what exercises I could do to help.

    1. Sheila
      Fatigue and tiredness in leg muscles is a common complaint as we grow older. We actually can lose 8% of our lean muscle tissue every decade. This has been shown to primarily affect the back, trunk, and leg muscles. The best way to handle this is to consume a moderate amount (25-30 g) of high quality protein with each meal; b) exercise before your protein-containing meals. This will help build your muscle tissue and increase your strength. Try the sit to stand exercise which is my favorite exercise for strengthening the legs and back. http://eldergym.com/hip-exercises.html

  5. I had total knee replacement several years ago and now that my knees have completely healed of the surgery I notice that my legs seem weak, especially when getting up from a chair or from my automobile. I assume the squats would help the most? Any other suggestions?

    Ben Jones

    1. Ben
      Instead of squats, I like just plain old sit to stand exercises. Try a kitchen chair. Sit on the edge of the chair, place your hands across your chest, bring your toes under your knees, then lean over with your nose over toes, getting your torso over your ankles. Breathe out while pushing up to standing, bring your shoulders back. Repeat 10 times. It is great for the quads and knees and does not over extend your knees.

  6. I have stenosis of the spine causing hip, thigh , knee, and calf pain. seems like it is only in the muscles, and I’m weak on my legs and have pain when I walk. hope there would be some exercise that would give me leg strength and take away the pain ? Doctors will not do any kind of operation on me .

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