General hip and leg muscle check: how and where

Hi Everybody

After the most recent podcast and Coach Chad’s comments about possible FTP underperformance due to muscle weakness (a caller complained about knee pain during low cadence workouts and hip pain during high cadence workouts) I finally made a link between my unusual hip symptoms and my TR plan. Until now I was suspecting my new mattress. Also, I had left knee ACL surgery with the ligament fully torn twice and the hamstring graft might have created some asymmetry which might be creating problems for me as I intensify my cycling (and running). My key concern is not to create hidden problems while I think I am getting more fit and push myself to harder workouts. Also, I am 46 years old so I might only have one chance to do this right.

With that in mind, what’s the general consensus on a good starting point for evaluating my situation? Do I go to a general practitioner doctor and ask for referral? Do I go to a PT? Do I go to a sports doctor? Do I ask the question at my gym? Or do I just sign up for pilates? Does anyone have any recommendations for where to go in Central New Jersey?

I noted Coach Chad’s comments that gyms are not consistent in terms of quality of advice on such matters. Any thoughts would be appreciated and I apologize if the topic is covered elsewhere.


I’m by no means an expert on this, but after coming back from injury, a Physical Therapist was super helpful in getting my knee to work again with the stability I need for riding. They are really knowledgable on sports physiology (in my experience), so I would probably start there if I were you :+1:.

If anyone else has other related experiences, I’d be really interested in hearing what worked for you!


I’m trying to recall if I heard it from @chad on a recent podcast, or some other podcast or vlog about hip strength and power. Over the Xmas break I powered through far too much content and now cant keep track of where I heard things.

The base point was that to deliver strong power you need strong hips.

Outside of the 5 movements that Chad has already blogged about multiple times, what are some other ways to build hip strength? I’ve been experimenting with body weight glute bridges, and they seem to help, but im wondering if there are some other things to focus on?
One variation I am trying to figure out is weighted barbell hip thrusts, hard to do if you don’t have a bench. GHD is apparently good for isolating, but again requires specific equipment that not all may have access to.

I agree with @Bryce - a physiotherapist is a good place to start. I found a centre that dealt specifically with sports injuries and had a focus on return to performance. It can be a long process so be patient.


Thank you for the replies.

Definitely get a sports physiotherapist, preferably a specialist, if you can afford the time and money.

Kelly Starrett’s book Becoming a Supple Leopard sounds like it would be a good fit for you otherwise and is Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast Approved :tm: (the book and/or its author have come up at least twice IIRC):

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  1. No, only if you have to get a referral per your insurance

  2. Yes, as stated by others. All PTs are not created equal, make sure you find a good one.

  3. Yes, and they should be able to refer a good PT.

  4. Absolutely not, you’re just as likely to recieve bad advice as you are good advice.

  5. Probably not, I’d lean more towards yoga AFTER you’ve identified the issues

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In my experiance (18m of hips issues and diagnosis of FAI) most medical professionals were not very competent when it comes to hips (I saw 11 none bothered to check my hip strength and function). Seems to be massive emphasis on the symtoms and dealing with that and not the underlying cause.

Modern life stlyes mean we dont use our hips properly and if you can adress that you should be able to overcome most issues.

I turned down surgury and through my on online research have overcome 95% of my issues - I found Upright Health on youtube to a great place to start - great resource


Should we merge these two?? :man_shrugging:

More of a grumble, but if anyone can offer encouraging words / advice, that would be great.

In the last 6 months I’ve developed hip pain in the left hip, which often keeps me awake at night after the evening TR workouts. This comes after having ACL replacements partial meniscus removal in the same knee about four years ago. I used TR to get fit after that surgery, lost 20KG doing 8+ hours per week. That knee still causes a lot of pain, but I work through it.

But now with the added hip pain it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay motivated. I’m doing physio to strengthen glutes and quads, etc. But it feels more arthritic in the actual hip joint, rather than muscular, although also significant ITB pain, occassionallly. Hip flexibility in that side is less than the good side.

Any thoughts welcome.

Definitely see a professional bike fitter before you make it worse.

Have you gotten an MRI of the hip? I suffered from similar symptoms for around 6 months just to find out that i had a hip labral tear.

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Short answer check out and Upright health on Youtube.

I’ve been through an 18m nightmare trying to resolve my hip issues, was diagnosed with FAI, cancelled surgery at last minute as research showed outcomes were poor. Finally had a physio recognise that my hips were very weak and not functioning properly. Followed FAI fix and now finally back training albeit i have to dedicate 2 sessions a week for strength and daily exercises and stretching to maintain my hip.

Good luck

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I know this won’t solve your condition, but it might serve someone else coming here from the headline:

Should we merge these two?? :man_shrugging:


I 2nd Those guys really helped me out after on and off hip pain for 5ish years that was keeping me off the bike. Well worth the money.


@timfooty, what graft was used to repair the ACL? I had one done with hamstring and one with the patella. Should have done patellar graft from the start. The use of the hamstring caused me all kinds of asymmetry during running and exercise. I also didn’t stretch as often as I should have. I am almost certain this put strain on my non-operated leg and hip. In short, if you had ACL surgery be extra vigilant about how you train.

@Captain_Doughnutman Are you asking me if the topics should be merged? If yes, I don’t mind. Whatever helps make the forum a better place.

I found the same website and honestly it has kept me from having labral hip repair!!

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Did you have surgery?

Don’t forget the “the”.