Hamstring/gluteal strengthening exercise options

Quickly navigate to specific exercises by clicking the links found along the left side of the screen.

 

Exercise HG1. Bridging

Starting position

Lie on a mat on the floor or on a firm bed. 
 

Place your feet hip-width apart

 

Exercise

Lift your bottom off the floor/bed. Keep shoulder blades on the floor/bed. Hold for 5 seconds.
 

Slowly lower your bottom back to the floor/bed.
 

“Slowly up, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly down”.
 

Keep your hips level as you lift up.
 

Stop when you’ve made a straight line between your shoulders and your knee.
 

Exercise HG2. Split leg bridge

Starting position

Lie on a mat on the floor or on a firm bed.
 

Place your feet hip-width apart, then move your arthritis leg slightly closer to your bottom and slightly in towards the centre.

 

Exercise

Keep your feet in the starting position. Your arthritis leg should be closer to your bottom and your non-arthritis leg slightly further away.
 

Lift your bottom. Take more weight through your arthritis leg.
 

Hold for 5 seconds.
 

Slowly lower your bottom back to the floor/bed.
 

“Slowly up, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly down”.


During the exercise:
 

Keep your hips level.
 

Don’t lift your bottom as far as you can possibly go. Stop just before you reach this point.
 

 

Exercise HG3. Single-leg bridge

Starting position

Lie on a mat on the floor or on a firm bed. 
 

Place your feet about 10cm apart (slightly closer than hip-width apart)

 

Exercise

Version A:
Lift your bottom. Keeping your hips level, lift your non-arthritis leg off the floor/bed.

 

Hold for 5 seconds.
 

Slowly lower your non-arthritis leg back to the floor/bed.
 

Then slowly lower your bottom back to the floor/bed.


“Slowly up, lift the leg, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, lower the leg, then slowly down”


Version B:
Lift your non-arthritis leg off the floor/bed.


Lift your bottom and take all your weight through your non-arthritis leg.

Hold for five seconds. 


Slowly lower your bottom back to the floor/bed.


Slowly lower your non-arthritis leg back to the floor/bed.


“Lift the leg. Slowly up, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly down. Lower the leg”.

 

Exercise HG4. Hamstring curls - standing over bench

Starting position

Stand in front of a table and lean forward onto your forearms. 

 

Exercise

Slowly bend your arthritis knee so that your heel comes up toward your bottom.
 

Hold for 5 seconds and lower slowly.


“Slowly up, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly down”.


 

 

Exercise HG5. Hamstring curls - with elastic band

Starting position

Place one end of an elastic band securely around the ankle of your arthritis leg. Place the other end of the elastic around your opposite foot so you are standing on it. 
 

Stand and lean forward on your forearms over a table.

 

Exercise

Slowly bend your arthritis knee, pulling against the resistance band, so that your heel comes up towards your bottom.
 

Hold for 5 seconds and lower slowly.

“Slowly up, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly down”.
 

 

Exercise HG6. Seated knee flexion

Starting position

Sit upright in a chair. Move forward so you are sitting toward the front of the chair (so you have enough room to bend your knee under the chair). 


Place one end of an elastic band securely around a stable object (e.g. a heavy table leg). Loop the other end around the ankle of your arthritis leg.

 

Exercise

Keeping your opposite foot on the floor, pull against the elastic band and bend your knee more. Your foot should move back further under the chair.


 “Bend, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, return”.

Variation: 

Change elastic band colour.

 

Exercise HG7. Hip extension with knee bent

Starting position

Stand and lean forward on forearms over a table or bench. 

 

Exercise

Bend your arthritis knee to around 90 degrees.
 

Push your foot backwards behind you so you are extending at your hip joint, while keeping your knee in the bent position.
 

Hold for 5 seconds then slowly return to the starting position. 
 

“Push behind, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly return”. 


 

 

Exercise HG8. Hip extension with knee straight

Starting position

Stand and lean forward on forearms over a table or bench. 


Keep both legs straight

 

Exercise

Lift your arthritis leg backwards behind you, keeping your knee straight. Lead with your heel, so you are extending at your hip joint. Keep the leg straight.


Hold for 5 seconds then slowly return to the starting position. 


“Move behind, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly return”.


Keep both legs straight. Keep your hips facing forwards. Don’t twist your hips. Be careful not to over arch your back.


If you feel discomfort in your lower back don’t move the leg back as far. 
 

 

Exercise HG9. Hip extension with knee straight - with elastic band

Starting position

Place one end of an elastic band securely around the ankle of your arthritis leg. Place the other end of the elastic around your opposite foot so you are standing on it. 


Stand and lean forward on your forearms over a table.

 

Exercise

Lift your arthritis leg backwards behind you, keeping your knee straight. Lead with your heel, so you are extending at your hip joint. Keep the leg straight.


Hold for 5 seconds then slowly return to the starting position. 

 

“Move behind, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly return”.


Keep both legs straight. Keep your hips facing forwards. Don’t twist your hips. Be careful not to over arch your back.


If you feel discomfort in your lower back don’t move the leg back as far.
 

 
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