How to Run With a Hip Replacement

by Jennifer Loucks

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases lists the most common reasons for having a hip replacement as injury of the hip, rheumatoid arthritis and bone diseases. The surgery involves replacing the hip joint with an artificial unit. Exercise after surgery is important for healing. However, you should not run until the hip has healed completely and your doctor has given an all clear to increase exercise intensity.

Step 1

Walk at a slow pace once your doctor has said that it is all right to do so following your surgery. Consult with your doctor as to the appropriate pace and maximum duration to prevent overuse and injuring the hip.

Step 2

Increase the intensity of the walk using trekking poles without increasing the pace. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends using the poles to get up to 40 percent more out of the walking exercise.

Step 3

Add swimming to your workout program once your doctor gives his approval. Most people are ready to swim approximately six to eight weeks after surgery. Wearing training fins while swimming will make the exercise more enjoyable and assist with building leg muscles.

Step 4

Add light jogging or running to your exercise routine only after your doctor approval. Not all hip replacement patients are able to withstand the jarring motion of jogging or running.

Step 5

Run at a slow pace and mix intervals of running and walking until your body gets used to the higher-intensity workout. Run on flat surfaces and do no attempt to run on hills or stairs.

Step 6

Apply ice to the hip area after each exercise session if you experience pain and swelling. Wrap the ice in a towel to prevent creating a cold burn on your skin.

Step 7

Reduce your exercise duration if your muscles ache. Consult with your doctor if pain does not subside with rest and ice treatments.

Items you will need

  • Trekking poles
  • Swimming fins
  • Heating pad


  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends applying a heat compress to your hip 15 to 20 minutes prior to exercising to warm the muscles and help the range of motion. Wrap a warm, damp towel around your hip or use a heating pad set to low or medium heat.

Photo Credits:

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or