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RDLs & Conventional DL w/ Hip Bursitis


I was diagnosed with hip bursitis in my left hip. It came about after a rep of heavy (for me) conventional deadlifts. I felt a bit of “weirdness” after the rep but no pain. The bursitis pain developed over the following few days. After a couple weeks I tried light CDL’s again and felt some pain at only 245x2 and stopped. Today I did RDL’s instead of conventional deadlifts and worked up to 300x5 without any hip pain. I still feel a bit of irritation but nothing like with CDL’s. (I can also do squats without pain) I think I’m just going to continue with RDL in the place of CDL for now. Any thoughts on why RDL would not be painful but CDL’s would be ?I know powerlifters HAVE to do CDL’s because it is part of the sport but I’m 40 (full time job) and a recreational lifter who just wants to get as strong as possible. I feel guilty doing RDL’s instead of CDL’s but I think I like them more and I fell it throughout my whole posterior chain. Has anyone else replaced CDl with RDL?


I believe it has to do with hip flexion degree. I say this because I need a hip replacement and although I still squat and deadlift fairly heavy for me (and for someone with a hip as damaged as mine lol) my squats are limited to just above parallel box squats with a vertical torso or heels very elevated full squats with upright torso. My deadlifts are also either RDLs or almost straight leg with soft or slightly bent knees, no CDLs for me. Btw I always liked RDLs better anyway for hitting hams and whole posterior chain and you can still move decent weight. I’m still able to hit 345 for a 5-6 reps even with the blown out hip.

The reason for this is because bringing or flexing my knee any closer to my chest as in a CDL or in a conventional squat with a slight forward lean in my torso gives me excruciating pain in my hip and back. For example I can barely reach my foot to put on sock and shoe without difficulty and great pain.

I think the flexion angle is what might be giving you a problem. You probably get away with squats maybe because you can squat more upright and there’s not a lot of hip flexion.

In any event take care of that hip you don’t want to end up like me.


Thanks for the reply! And, I agree, I have always enjoyed the RDL more than CDL and I have always been able to move decent weight with the RDL (405 for a few reps was my max) while feeling it throughout my body better than the CDL (which just sort of hurts and feels awkward). Maybe people with short arms and long legs are better suited for the RDL in general.


I also have long legs and a shorter torso which probably explains why just like you I always felt the RDL’s were more effective. Even before my bad hip CDL’s felt awkward and also hurt my lower back. Stick with what works