Copenhagen Lift


Perform 3 sets of 5 repetitions three times per week. Continue using this exercise once a week to maintain hip strength.


The muscles on the inside of the thigh often contribute to hip, groin, and knee pain. This exercise will strengthen these muscles and encourage activation of the muscles that stabilize the trunk and shoulder.


Lie on your side with the top leg on a chair or bench. The more of the leg is supported by the chair, the easier the exercise will be. Start with the chair supporting the leg from the knee downwards, and move the leg out over time so that eventually only the foot is resting on the chair. Make sure the shoulders, hips, and knees are aligned so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your knee.

Support your upper body on the bottom elbow while you use the top leg to push down into the chair, lifting your hips up to the height of the chair. If you can, also lift the bottom leg off the ground as you do this so that the legs are parallel with each other at the top position. You may need to progress to this part over time, and it’s fine to leave the bottom leg on the ground when you first start. From the top position, gently lower the hips back to the ground using the top leg, and repeat.

This exercise can be very demanding when you first start, so don’t worry if you are unable to raise yourself to the top position. It is okay to start by only lifting the hips through a small range, or even just pushing the top leg into the chair and holding for a few seconds at a time. Your range will improve as your muscles become stronger.

Common Mistakes

• Bending forward at the hips. To maximally engage the trunk stabilizers, try to make sure that you are not bent forward at the hips when performing the lift. Try to make sure the body forms a straight line from knee to head.

• Letting the hips fall from the top. One of the most important parts of every lift is the lowering phase. Try to lower the hips in a slow and controlled manner to get the most out of the muscle.

Progression Threshold

Congratulations! This is the most advanced exercise in this progression. Integrate this with other exercises you have learned to control symptoms and maintain a balanced body.