T Nation

Bad Hips


Over the last 10 years I have been in and out of the gym, never really lasting more than 5 months or so before drifting away, and losing everything I gained.

I am back, but this time its different. I feel somehow that I am in for the long run. I always wanted to do it right, but always figured “someday.” Now is the time. For the first time I have decided to buckle down and get my nutrition and training in order. I even made a fancy spreadsheet and bought a food scale to plan out my eating (very helpful in learning how small a serving of cheese really is).

Now to my issue. From everything I have been reading, squats and deads are a cornerstone of serious training. The problem is that I have bad hips. The cartilage is all hosed up due to irregular femoral head shape (I had scfe in early adolescence). I can do squats and deads, but my hips end up sore, and I know that the pain is a sign of very bad things.

I have been thinking about what the heck I can do about this, and I cant think of much. Pretty much any excercise that loads my hip joints with weight, and where I have to articulate about the hip joint will cause me problems. Really, the only excercises I can do are:

weighted lunges (these are not painfree)
leg curl
leg extension
wall sits

  • pretty much nothing for the glute…

At this point, I am not expecting to build great big legs, but I am wondering what drug free things I can do to approximate the various metabolic and hormonal benefits of squatting and deadlifting. I could get bilateral hip replacements then squat… whoops, bad idea. :frowning:

Thoughts? Comments?


I believe that weightlifting is about a higher level of fitness. That would not include any movement that resulted in negative results. You are limited with lower body workouts so just do whatever your current level of health allows.

Can you walk incline? This or sprints if capable could be ways to help develop your legs the best you will be able.

I know nothing of your condition so I can’t say if there is any benefit to long term health of your joints.

Good luck. Lift smart

sorryt o hear about the problem, stick it out though I am not knowledgable about your condition but a good PT or ortho might be able to help, if not heal or fix it at least give you ideas of what won’t give you pain or problems.

how about glute Ham Raises, I find these to be great for leg stregnth and overall just a great exercise. reverse and normal Hypers are also good for the glutes adn lower back. try to go with bodyweight exercises if you can for a bit and just work through the motions on everything and find some things you can do. if you can’t train legs to the greatest extent so be it your ability to walk is worth more then anything else(learned sometimes you got to go for the health first the hard way).

Walk for a half-hour before your workout. It warms up the hips and knees. I have the advantage of walking from work to work out.

Make sure you warm up these joint with semi weights, full range moves for a full 10 minutes before you lift. During this warm-up phase, I like to put my hands on my knees. And just do little twists. Clockwise, counter-clockwise.

Now comes the pill. Take a good glucosamine supplement in the early part of the day.

I would find a very good specialist. Some sort of sports orthopedics or something.

Remember, anything you can do bilaterally (two legged) you can do unilaterally (one legged) with half the weight and maybe half the pain. I agree with the bodyweight exercises and glute ham raise, but I have a feeling the GHR would probably aggravate things too.

What about sprinting? Does that bother your hips? Some sprinters have never touched a weight in their life and have very impressive leg development.