Outer Thigh Exercise with the Ball
(hip abduction)

Starting Position
  • Start this ball exercise by lying on your side with your arm crossed over your chest. Put one hand on the floor in front of you. You will need this as your centre of gravity shifts forward during the exercise.
  • Both feet are on the ball with the lower foot in front of the upper foot.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles as you learned in the exercise ball introduction.
  • Lift your hips up off the floor so that your body is straight from your heels to your shoulders.
  • Lift and lower your top leg.
  • Keep the top leg in front of the supporting leg.
  • Turn over and repeat the exercise with the other leg.
Prime Movers
  • Hip abductors, trunk
Physio Tips
  • If you are unable to perform this exercise ball exercise with good technique you probably need more training of your trunk strength and balance.
  • Practice the Side Bridge more on the ball, and on the floor.
  • To make this exercise easier, move the ball closer to your knee.
Progression This is a moderately demanding ball exercise because it demands stability in side lying as you move one of your limbs. As your centre of gravity shifts with your leg movement your spinal stabilizers are forced to accommodate this change in forces.

About 55 percent of the people I see in the clinic come to me with spinal ailments. Most of these people are not the heavy labourers we would think should complain of pain, but desk workers. If we sit at our desks for long periods it causes weakening of our gluteal muscles. Keep any muscle in a lengthened position for long periods of time and it will become weaker. Weak hip muscles mean that the back and knees take on more work leading to inappropriate joint forces, wear and tear, and ultimately pain. Strengthening the hips are an important part of preventing back and knee pain.

Become an expert at this outer thigh exercise and you will find any hip abduction exercises on the floor (a stable surface) much easier.

1ballsRepeat this ball exercise 4 times.

2ballsRepeat this ball exercise 8 times.

3ballsRepeat this ball exercise 12 times.

   Return to the top of Outer Thigh Exercise on the Ball