Hip Injury Prevention With Single Leg Glute Bridge

Training Through a Hip Injury

Two common injuries we see at Arlington Pain and Rehab Courthouse are hip tendinitis and bursitis. Hip tendinitis and bursitis are frequently found in athletes that perform repetitive movements, long distance runners, gymnasts, and elderly individuals with an unsteady gait. Pain, inflammation, swelling, and soreness are indicators of a hip condition, and it is unlikely they will subside unless appropriate modifications, therapeutic exercise and rehab are taken. We suggest speaking with a healthcare provider and seeking a treatment plan. At our office, Dr. Josh Alvarado’s treatment plan often includes training through a hip injury, as long as the body is healthy.

If a patient’s condition permits training through a hip injury, suggestions will be given for altering a workout program. We choose exercises that will help strengthen the posterior chain and take stress off the spine. Big movements, such as barbell squats, deadlifts, back extensions, and good mornings should be avoided, as they aggravate the hip flexors. To avoid these, we focus on unilateral training, as it protects the joints, strengthens the core, and promotes balance and stability. Some examples of unilateral training are single leg hip thrusts, single leg romanian deadlifts, and reverse lunges.

Reverse Lunge

Unilateral training will begin as bodyweight, then progressed with added dumbbells or kettlebells. Cues for the single leg hip thrust are to push through the heels, tuck the chin, and pause at the top of each rep to ensure you’re using the glutes and not the low back. Single leg romanian deadlifts must maintain control throughout the movement, use full range of motion, and make sure the dumbbell stays close to the body. We suggest looking straight ahead for reverse lunges, letting the back knee gently tap the floor. 


Modified movements, such as landmine squats, goblet box squats, and stiff legged dumbbell deadlifts can also be used when training through a hip injury. Similar muscles will be fired, but the risk of injury will be less. Landmine squats will be performed with a barbell either in the sleeve of a landmine unit if available, or into a corner. Push the hips back and squat down, without letting the knees collapse inward. Goblet box squats teach the body how to stay upright while engaging the hips. Hold weight in front of the chest and lower down onto the box while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Stiff legged dumbbell deadlifts will require that the feet are shoulder width apart and there’s a slight bend in the knees.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

These exercises are excellent for training through a hip injury because they allow us to perfect form and technique. If discomfort occurs, speak with your doctor and come up with a treatment plan, either utilizing different exercises, or refraining from exercise completely until the hip injury is healed. Each patient will require a unique strategy based on severity and longevity of symptoms, age, activity level, and genetics. Dr. Josh Alvarado provides individual plans for every patient that comes in, and we’re confident a hip injury can be healed with the correct approach.

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