Our pelvic floor, quads, hamstrings, knees, calves, and feet are constantly under fire. Without strong hips and glutes, they might just blow!
When it comes to running strong, efficiently, and injury free, it’s all in the hips and butt.
Our hips and glutes work together to provide postural stability in walking, standing and running. They stabilize and align the hip, decelerate your swinging leg while running, and provide power in your footstrike and push-off.
The problem is that runners often have weak hips and glutes, leading to discomfort, inefficiency and—worst of all—injury.
According to the TrailRunnermag.com article 4 Hip-Strengthening Exercises to Help You Run Strong, “Trunk muscles—including your hips and glutes—are arguably the most important part of your running anatomy. Pay attention to them to prevent injury and stay strong.”
Weakness in your glutes is related to a lack of “recruitment,” explains Toni Dauwalter, a Physical Therapist at Accelerated Sports Therapy and Fitness in Minneapolis. “Two big reasons for [glute weakness are] our sitting lifestyle and a history of back pain and injury,” she says. “There isn’t much need for core recruitment in the sitting position, especially the frequently adopted work position of forward head and shoulders and rounded spine.”
When do you do your strength work? We’ve talked about this before and ideally, the best time to do your strength training is right before you run. Doing these basic exercises just before heading out for a run will not only allow you to warm up a bit, but they will also remind you of which muscles you should be engaging while running and you’ll be more inclined to practice things like firing up through your butt and maintaining good form if you prep yourself in this way.
If you’re not running, then you have time to throw in an extra round! 😉 Either way, finding time for these lower body exercises means running stronger, faster, and with less pain.
Day 4 exercises: Hips – 3 sets of 10
- Brigid’s Runner Clams
- Side Lying Leg Lift
- Reverse Clam (knees together / feet up)
- Forearm Plank (:60)
- Pigeon Pose (stretch both legs!)
Bonus: Fire Hydrants – 3 sets of 10
- lock the elbows and abduct the hip at 90 or 45 degrees
- draw the navel in
- look at the ground
Need a refresher on fire hydrants? Check out the video below.
It’s Friday y’all! The weekend is when people tend to get lazy and slack off. Remember that this is a process. To get stronger, you have to stick with the plan.
It doesn’t take long but done consistently, that lingering pain that keeps coming back might finally GO AWAY!
Take it day by day….keep working towards your goals!