How can I make my legs stronger when I have hip dysplasia on both sides?

If I google "legs training", every search result states training will include a lot of variants of squatting. And they say, squatting is the base and a must have exercise. But squatting is not allowed for me because of my illness, as well as any other axial load on the hips.

But, I really want to make my legs stronger. And, this is important: I want them strong, not big like a bodybuilder.

So, is there any way to substitute forbidden exercises? For example, it looks like squats train a group of muscles. One of them is gluteus maximus. Google says bridge exercise train this muscle. Another one is quadriceps. Exercise bike and such exercise device train quadriceps. And so on, and so on for every muscle from those, which squats train...

So... Is it possible to compose a training program, which will train my legs without squatting? And is it OK to do more exercises and spend more time, then as for a usual program? Or, maybe, squatting gives some special effect, which cannot be replaced by some other exercise?

  • 4
    Is it possible to compose a training program, which will train my legs without squatting? - Definitely. But, you'd need to talk to a therapist or sports medicine doctor to see if they are contraindicated.
    – rrirower
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's entirely possible.

Exercises such as squats are compound muscle exercises, which means they work many muscles at the same time. These are generally considered as "must have" because they do work so many muscles, and generally give good results.

The other exercises are what are called "isolation" exercises, since they mostly work one muscle group at a time. You can certainly create a program that consists mainly of isolation exercises that will work the same muscles as a compound exercise will.

Since you have this condition, I would put together a program, and then get with a licensed physical therapist or other medical professional and have them evaluate it (or even help you create it). The last thing you want to do is unknowingly stick in an exercise that will cause more harm than good.

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