So, as I mentioned a few posts ago I injured myself recently.
I pulled or strained either part or the whole upper left glute. Right near my tailbone. It started as a twinge and moved on to PAIN. I think it started a few days prior: I was working out doing hip thrusts as I was at the end of week ten (10) of a twelve (12) week program: Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body. I will have a review up for this book/program up shortly. This program is focused on women’s aesthetics in general and on the glute muscles in specific while still maintaining strength. Which is what I was looking for.
So, back to my injury. I am not *certain* what exactly happened but while finishing up week 10 (doing hip thrusts, 135 pounds) I got a horrible cramp running from my lower left waistline down to my left knee. I had to put the bar down and stretch and foam roll out the pain for more than five minutes before I could continue. Ouch! At the beginning of week 11 I noticed a twinge in my upper left glute. By the next day when working out it started to become pain. I finished up that workout…barely.
I couldn’t understand what happened! I was thrusting heavy weight BUT it’s not like I just jumped into it. I’ve been lifting for almost a year and doing this program specifically for almost 3 months. My butt – literally – was hurting. It hurt to sit. It hurt to clench my glute muscles. It hurt to stretch. It hurt to turn over in bed. It hurt to go to the bathroom. Let’s not even SPEAK of even going through the motions of deadlifting (140 pounds) and squatting (135 pounds). In fact, it hurt just to do the bodyweight motion of deadlifting and squatting. I finished off week 11 by subbing out, modifying or skipping all of the lower body exercises (which was a LOT). By this time I had a knot from the devil in my left IT Band and *I believe* that this knot is what is causing me to lose some tactile sensation on my left IT Band and quad near the knee. My Physical Therapist (PT) was taping me up like a CrossFit athlete by this time – fussing the whole while.
Yeah. I was not a happy camper. I mean, I was icing my ass and sitting on tennis balls. A glute bridge was PAINFUL. 🙁 But I couldn’t understand what happened.
After copious amounts of digging, here’s my theory (as I can’t get to a doctor right now):
I got back into physical fitness this year after being sedentary for some time. Prior to that I was very active (walking, running, exercising and biking, etc). I started slowly by stretching myself out but I forgot that a lot of my sedentary time is spent sitting at a desk. I had developed tight hip flexors and they were still tight. While not mentioned in the book/program, after I became injured I used my Google-Fu and found something on the program creator’s website:
If tight hip flexors are an issue for you, you will have to address it in order to really achieve full range of motion on the Hip Thrust. If you don’t, you will either have to stop short of full hip extension range, or you will have to use lumbar hyperextension to make it look like (and make yourself feel like) you are getting full range of motion.
–Conrad Stalheim, DC, CSCS, SFMA, Iowa Chiropractic and Performance Center
WHAT??! While tight hip flexors are mentioned in the book a couple of times (some in chapters 3 and 4 and defined in the glossary) it never stated the above. I had to DIG for this information. This means that I’ve been hip thrusting with poor form (leading to injury) for the entire time. *headdesk* I think that the tight hip flexors – leading to poor form – along with a glute imbalance has lead to this injury. My left side is actually my stronger side so it was also taking a majority of the weight…
Ice pack and much rest now applicable.
I decided that I needed a total body rest after that – especially after speaking to my PT. I haven’t exercised since November 27th – it’s been about 6 days of total rest so things are starting to feel better. Turning over in bed, going to the bathroom and the like are all better. I’ve stopped icing. It still hurts to clench that muscle or go through the bodyweight motions of deadlifting or squatting. I was told by my PT that as the pain lessens that I can get back to bodyweight activies but I should do no weights at all until the pain is completely gone during muscle clenching, glute bridges and bodyweight squats. I also need the knot to be gone from my IT Band and 100% sensation in my leg to come back.
I am rather upset about this. I’m going to have to deload when I’m finally healed up. God only knows how long that will be (or how much weight I will have to deload). I wish I’d had more complete information about some of the physical requirements to do the hip thrust – maybe I would have been able to avoid injury. At least I know now and I was already working on my hip flexors. Well, maybe this will give me a chance to heal up the wrist 100% as well.