I have just turned 57 and play 8-a-side football 2 or 3 times a week. I also work on the exercise bike and do what I shall describe as Yoga - once a week - (on the WII) to stretch my body out.

I am very frustrated that I appear very fit on the bike (no impact) but running around highlights the weakness around my hips, particularly pushing off and turning. This seems due to my gluteus maximus being my weak link. If I push deep into them, it does feel sore.

I never jog as my "shock absorbers" feel shot.

I have had massages and seen an osteopath.

I also saw a podiatrist who gave me some high insoles to wear.

I don't believe doing lunges etc will help as they are putting further pressure on my weak area.

I don’t suffer pain but do get a little stiff sitting down.

Is there anything I can do - maybe a scan or x-ray - to find out what is causing this and what I might be able to do to improve things?

A doctor would not have the knowledge.

Anyone doing sport is always looking to improve whatever the age.


I'm going to assume for the moment that your hip joints are healthy, and don't need replacing. Do check with your doctor to rule that out. The rest of my answer has to do with the type of exercise you outlined.

The biggest thing I can see in your exercise regimen is that you aren't doing much for your posterior chain. The exercise bike gets your quadriceps and your anterior (front) chain working nicely.

The only way to fix it is to exercise the posterior chain. Basically you've developed a muscular imbalance which causes pain, posture problems, etc.

The following exercises will help strengthen the posterior chain:

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Lunges
  • Back extensions
  • Deadlifts
  • Squats of all kinds--if you at least go to parallel (crease of the hip at or below the top of the knee)

The key with any new exercise is to start out light and progress from there. You may want to start out body weight only. I wish I knew something that may be more fun that gets your posterior chain involved. However, once you've increased the strength of the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, calves, back) you will find that the hip pain will start to correct itself.

The same type of pain can happen if a lifter only focuses on pressing movements and never does curls. The muscle imbalance can cause a form of tendinitis in the elbows.

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  • I will look on YouTube for the exercises you refer to as I have been told my hips are fine. The hamstrings are going to be tight through playing (English) football - I am not good at touching my toes. Calves should be ok from football so I will start on the other exercises - anything to squeeze a few more sporting years out of the body! – Nick James Sep 27 '12 at 14:01

A lot of people have "sleepy glutes", from too much time in chairs, general under-use, or whatever. It may be impossible to know what caused it. What you can do is fix it, regardless of the cause. (Barring serious injury or disability.)

Instead of avoiding lunges and other exercises that stress the glutes, focus on them. Glute bridges, deadlifts, squats, kettlebell swings, and lunges should all be a focus of your programming. Focus consciously on using your glutes in each of these. Get them used to doing work again.

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  • Thanks Dave - I have already started this regime following the first reply. I really appreciate the advice. – Nick James Sep 30 '12 at 7:17

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