What is the Sidestep with Band Exercise ?

The sidestep with band exercise is a simple yet powerful movement that targets the muscles around the hip joint. To perform this exercise, you will need a resistance band that is securely anchored to a fixed point. Begin by placing the band around both ankles, standing with your feet hip-width apart, and assuming a slight squat position. Next, take a step to the side with one foot, maintaining tension on the band throughout the movement. Bring the other foot together to meet the leading foot, and repeat the sidestep motion in the opposite direction.

This exercise primarily targets the hip abductor muscles, including the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing the hip joint and maintaining proper alignment during movements such as walking, running, and jumping. Weak hip abductors can contribute to imbalances and increase the risk of hip injury. By specifically targeting these muscles, the sidestep with band exercise helps to strengthen and activate the hip abductors, promoting stability and support for the hip joint.

Benefits of the Sidestep with Band Exercise in Hip Injury Recovery

The sidestep with band exercise offers several benefits that make it a valuable tool in hip injury recovery:

A. Promotion of Hip Strength and Stability

Hip strength and stability are crucial for maintaining proper biomechanics and preventing further injury. The sidestep with band exercise specifically targets the hip injury, which is key to providing stability to the hip joint. By regularly incorporating this exercise into a physiotherapy treatment plan, patients can strengthen these muscles, improving overall hip stability and reducing the risk of future injuries.

B. Improvement of Hip Injury and Range of Motion

In addition to strengthening the hip abductors, the sidestep with band exercise also helps to improve hip mobility and range of motion. During the sidestep motion, the hip joint is taken through a lateral movement, which can help to increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. This exercise is particularly beneficial for patients recovering from hip injuries, as it can help restore normal hip function and enhance their ability to perform daily activities with ease.

C. Enhancement of Proprioception for Injury Prevention and Joint Health

Proprioception, or the body’s awareness of its position in space, is essential for maintaining balance and preventing falls or further injuries. The sidestep with band exercise challenges proprioception by introducing an external resistance that requires the muscles and joints to work together in a coordinated manner. By incorporating this exercise into a physiotherapy treatment plan, patients can improve their proprioceptive abilities, which can contribute to better joint health and reduce the risk of future hip injury.

Incorporating the Sidestep with Band Exercise for Hip Injury

When incorporating the sidestep with band exercise into a physiotherapy treatment plan, it is important to follow a systematic approach to ensure patient safety and optimize the benefits. Here are some key considerations:

A. Initial Assessment of the Patient’s Hip Injury

Before prescribing the sidestep with band exercise, a thorough assessment of the patient’s hip condition should be conducted. This assessment may include evaluating the range of motion, strength, and stability of the hip joint. Based on the findings, the physiotherapist can determine the appropriate starting point for the exercise and tailor it to the patient’s specific needs.

B. Guidance on Proper Technique and Form

Proper technique and form are crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of the sidestep with band exercise and minimizing the risk of injury. The physiotherapist should provide clear instructions on how to perform the exercise correctly, including the correct placement of the resistance band, maintaining proper posture, and ensuring controlled movements. Real-time feedback and guidance through innovative technologies, such as virtual physiotherapy or the Merlin Physio app, can further enhance the patient’s understanding and execution of the exercise technique.

C. Gradual Progression of Exercise Intensity and Resistance

To ensure continuous improvement and prevent plateaus, it is important to gradually increase the intensity and resistance of the sidestep with band exercise. This can be achieved by using bands with higher levels of resistance or by increasing the number of repetitions or sets. The physiotherapist will guide the patient through the appropriate progression, taking into account their individual capabilities and limitations.

D. Individualization Based on Patient’s Needs and Limitations

Each patient’s recovery journey is unique, and their physiotherapy treatment plan should be tailored to their specific needs and limitations. The sidestep with band exercise can be modified or adapted to accommodate individual circumstances, such as limited mobility or strength. For example, patients with severe hip injury may perform the exercise while seated or with the support of a chair. The physiotherapist will make appropriate modifications based on the patient’s condition, ensuring that the exercise remains safe and effective.

E. Monitoring and Reassessment of Progress

Regular monitoring and reassessment of the patient’s progress are essential to track improvements and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. The physiotherapist will evaluate the patient’s hip strength, mobility, and stability over time to determine the effectiveness of the sidestep with band exercise. Based on the findings, modifications may be made to the exercise program to address any areas of concern or to further challenge the patient as they progress in their recovery.

Precautions and Considerations

While the sidestep with band exercise can be highly beneficial for hip injury recovery, it is important to approach it with caution and take certain precautions:

A. Importance of Consulting with a Physiotherapist

Before starting any new exercise program, it is crucial to consult with a qualified physiotherapist. They will assess your specific condition, provide guidance on exercise selection, and ensure that the sidestep with band exercise is suitable for your individual needs. A physiotherapist will also consider any other underlying factors or co-existing injuries that may impact the exercise’s safety and effectiveness.

B. Proper Warm-up Before Starting the Exercise

Prior to performing the sidestep with band exercise, it is essential to warm up the muscles and joints to prepare them for physical activity. This can be done through gentle cardio exercises that target the hip muscles. A proper warm-up increases blood flow to the muscles, improves flexibility, and reduces the risk of injury.

C. Gradual Progression with Sidestep with Band

To avoid overexertion and potential setbacks in the recovery process, it is important to progress gradually with the sidestep with band exercise. Starting with lower levels of resistance and gradually increasing the intensity, duration, and complexity of the exercise will allow the body to adapt and strengthen over time. Pushing too hard or progressing too quickly can lead to muscle strain or reinjury, so it is important to listen to your body and follow the guidance of your physiotherapist.

D. Management of Pain or Discomfort During the Exercise

It is normal to experience some muscle soreness or discomfort during and after exercise, especially when starting a new program or increasing the intensity. However, it is important to differentiate between normal post-exercise soreness and pain that may indicate an issue or injury. If you experience sharp or persistent pain during the sidestep with band exercise, it is essential to stop and consult with your physiotherapist to address any underlying concerns.

Use of Merlin Physio App for Hip Injury

Merlin Physio is a valuable tool for physiotherapists and patients alike when it comes to exercises like the Sidestep with Band Exercise. Here’s how Merlin Physio can assist with this specific exercise:

  • 1. Exercise Guidance: Merlin Physio provides clear and easy-to-follow instructions for the Sidestep with Band Exercise. It can include visual demonstrations and step-by-step instructions, ensuring that both physiotherapists and patients understand how to perform the exercise correctly. This reduces the risk of improper form and potential injuries.
  • 2. Progress Tracking: The app allows physiotherapists to record and track a patient’s progress with the Sidestep with Band Exercise over time. This feature is essential for assessing whether the exercise is effective in addressing the patient’s specific needs and adjusting the treatment plan accordingly.
  • 3. Customization: Every patient is different, and their needs can vary. Merlin Physio can customize the Sidestep with Band Exercise based on an individual’s specific condition and goals. This ensures that the exercise is tailored to each patient’s unique requirements for maximum benefit.
  • 4. Real-Time Feedback: The app can provide real-time feedback to patients as they perform the Sidestep with Band Exercise. This feedback can help patients maintain proper form, pace themselves, and make necessary adjustments during the exercise, enhancing its effectiveness.
  • 5. Motivation and Adherence: Merlin Physio can incorporate motivational features to encourage patients to stick with their exercise routines. It can set reminders for when it’s time to do the Sidestep with Exercise, track completion, and even offer rewards or incentives for consistent adherence.


The sidestep with band exercise is a valuable tool in the rehabilitation of hip injury. By targeting the hip abductor muscles, it promotes strength, stability, mobility, and proprioception, all of which are crucial for hip injury recovery and prevention. When incorporated into a comprehensive physiotherapy treatment plan, the sidestep with band exercise can help patients regain function, reduce pain, and enhance their overall quality of life. However, it is important to consult with a physiotherapist, follow proper technique and form, progress gradually, and listen to your body to ensure a safe and effective recovery process.


Who can benefit from the ‘sidestep with band’ exercise in physiotherapy?

Patients recovering from a hip injury can benefit from this exercise.

What is the purpose of the ‘sidestep with band’ exercise in physiotherapy?

This exercise helps improve hip strength and stability during recovery.

How is the ‘sidestep with band’ exercise performed in physiotherapy?

Stand with a resistance band around your ankles and step sideways, maintaining tension on the band.

What if I find the ‘sidestep with band’ exercise too difficult?

Your physiotherapist can modify the exercise to suit your current abilities and gradually increase the intensity.

What if I experience discomfort while performing the ‘sidestep with band’ exercise?

Inform your physiotherapist immediately, as they can adjust the exercise or recommend alternative options to avoid any discomfort.