Blog Article – Hip Pain in the Athlete

Hip Pain In The Athlete 

Football player most stressed joints

As a physical therapist and sports performance trainer I get to work with a good deal of athletes. One common issue that I have been coming across lately is hip pain.

Hip pain can have many different causes but most commonly there’s soft tissue (muscle, tendon, cartilage) involvement.  Lately I am seeing a major contributor to these patients and clients coming in the door with hip pain, and that is muscle imbalances. 

Too many athletes these days are “living in an anterior pelvic tilt”. I am seeing this issue in so many of my athletes. Anterior pelvic tilt can cause pain in the front, back or in both areas of the hip. Anterior pelvic tilt is caused by tight hip flexors and lower back along with weak abdominals and glutes. This presentation is called pelvic or lower crossed syndrome.


Anterior pelvic tilt puts the athlete at increased risk for common sports injuries such as groin strains, hip flexor tendonitis, hip impingement. It can also lead to issues above and below the hip such as low back pain, IT band syndrome and increase risk for knee injuries.

I always stress to all of my athletes that they need to have a strong core and posterior chain to become elite. This will help even out these “imbalances”. I work on these areas in every single session. I used to find it shocking that many of my athletes (even college level) can’t do a proper plank, squat or lunge without some sort of deviation. I now know to look for these deficits right away and to work on correcting before it becomes a big issue.

Here are some examples of what we have our clients do:


Glute-Bridge  Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 11.29.12 AM


one of the best ways to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, they have been found to activate your gluteus maximus more than traditional back squats


TRX Deep Squat Lat Stretch


Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 11.31.30 AM



great way to work on hip mobility while stretching out the back, adding in     diaphragmatic breathing in the squat position will also engage your core





Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch 


Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 11.36.43 AM


an effective way of lengthening the hip flexors, make sure not too “over-stretch” or the muscle will increase in tone due to excessive strain.  Tighten up your glutes on the down leg and you’ll really feel it. As shown in the picture, adding an overhead kettle bell press hold will also engage the core and shoulder stabilizers



Dead Bug with Band Pull Down


Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 11.45.02 AM

A great progression of the traditional dead bug exercise, really works the lower abdominals and adding in the band pull activates your lats and shoulders, key is maintaining the low back flat against the ground while kicking out, it’s harder than it looks


email if you are having sports related hip pain or if you think these exercises look cool and want to become a bad-ass athlete.

Bubble Ball Soccer League

We are holding a co-ed indoor bubble ball soccer league starting November 13th. Teams can have up to 10 players. It’s guaranteed to be some of the most fun you’ve ever had! For more information contact