When my left shoulder was injured, I learned a lot. Surprisingly, very little of it was wrong, but a lot of it did not help. In the end getting it all fixed and setting new PRs came down to:
1) Don't repeat the move causing the injury, until
2) ONGOING: You learn to bench correctly (hardcore retraction)
3) ONGOING: And do some weighted protracton, like overhead shrugs or subscap pushups.
So I tried a lot of stuff, but settled on the last two. Now I think I need to start trying a lot of things, hoping to get down to whatever is going wrong in my left hip.
Here are the symptoms, in no particular order:
1) Pain in inside of left knee at a very precise angle (about 135 degrees), such as when it when descending onto that leg while going down stairs or when setting up for a deadlift or unracking a squat. Turning left foot out a bit more than where it naturally falls eliminates pain completely. This has been an issue since day 1, but I never worried about it before, I just turned out my foot a bit and did the lift.
2) Surprising weakness on rack pulls when my trainer had me do them about 6 weeks ago for the first time. With the bar 3" above normal he was surprised that I could break it off the floor and then could not get past 1" of motion. He had thought this weight would be pretty easy for me. From what I understand this is glutes, because that's right where the hips must hinge forward, and I just cannot seem to do it.
3) About those rack pulls, ever since the first time I've had a near permanent muscle knot in my left glute. Using lacrosse ball finds a very sensitive spot just like any other knot, and brings relief, but it always returns, just like it used to in my shoulder. Note that all other muscle knots respond well to lacrosse ball, this one does not.
3 1/2) Also what I think is my left hip adductor always feels extremely tight when I get up out of a chair.
4) Big shocker came this morning and convinced me to write this post. Doing lying hip flexion with 30# on a pulley, I did 10 with right leg and then one and a half with my left. Although the first hurt like hell, I failed the 2nd not because of discomfort but on sheer lack of strength -- I could not pull my leg backward with everything I had. I went down to 15# and did two sets of 10.
5) On a hunch I tried some single leg bridges with left leg, and would get to 3 or 4 before my left hams would cramp so badly I'd stop. So I did two sets of 3-4.
So at this point I figure this ain't gonna get better on its own, will probably get worse. This time around I'd like to skip the whole injury thing and figure out what to do before I repeat the shoulder story.
At its simplest I was considering something like this as a radical hip health rehab program:
1) Lay off squats and deads for 3 weeks, including all variations of deads like rack pulls and deficits.
2) Possibly, and this would hurt, lay off farmers walks. They aggravated the left hip pain yesterday. *sigh* Replace with sled work?
3) Do lots of pressing to keep from getting bored. "If you want to press a lot, you have to press a lot."
4) Lying hip flexion, leg raises, and other hip flexor exercises
5) Glute bridges, using Dan John philosophy, "If its worth doing its worth doing every day" but not using Dan John philosophy of "It worked so well I stopped doing it!"
6) Bulgarians on both sides, but not too rough, more rehab-style to start
7) KB swings? This is already getting busy...
If at the end of 3 weeks symptoms are significantly reduced and left/right hip flexor strength is coming into balance, then consider adding dead/squat variations back in one per week and monitor for return of symptoms.
Any other ideas?