When I injured my hip flexor in November , I discovered that I had extreme weakness in my uninjured hip. I used the following exercises to correct this imbalance, and I use them now for injury prevention. If you are recovering from an injury do not fight through the pain to complete these exercises. If there is pain, stop.
#1 Balancing on One Leg (simple enough right?)
What you need- A couple of pillows for standing on (advanced), or a Cando Vestibular Disc (flat inflated disc that is usually red or blue)
Stand on one leg for as long as you can. Switch. If you can stay balanced for 30 seconds easily on both sides then try the same thing on the pillow or disc.
This may seem like the easiest exercise ever, but it really does pay off. This exercise shows you if there is an imbalance and also helps correct it.
Tip- Do not balance on one leg on the floor, and then on the other leg on the pillow or disc. This will make it harder to correct the imbalance.
#2 Single Leg Deadlift with or without a Medicine Ball
What you need- A light medicine ball (I recommend a 4lb medicine ball to start)
Stand on your right leg with the medicine ball (or your hands) out in front of you. Bring the medicine ball to your left hip while you lift your knee up. (I imagine driving my knee forward). Slowly bring your left foot back, straightening the leg as you tilt forward, letting your arms hang with the balance ball. Try to keep a flat back. Tilt back up, lift the knee up to the knee drive position, and bring the medicine ball back to the hip. Hold for a second or two and repeat. 12 times on each side. If you have to put your foot down for a second to regain balance that is okay. Just restart in the knee drive position.
If you can only to a couple at first, don’t worry. Add a few each more each time. YOU CAN DO IT!
Tip- Go Slow.
#3 Glute Bridge March
What you need- a mat
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift your butt off the ground so that your stomach is flat. You should be able to feel your glutes activate. Keeping your left side strong, bring your bent right leg up (like you are marching). Bring it back down, focus on maintaining that bridge position, and bring the left leg up. Complete as many as you can or up to 30 while maintaining that bridge position.
When I injured my hip, this exercise showed the weakness in my uninjured hip/lower back. Performing this exercise daily significantly decreased my recovery time. I continue to do the Glute Bridge March for stability maintenance.