Day 11: Disaster Waiting to Happen

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Run harder…you’ll be fine…

NO WAIT! Running harder without giving some attention to the other less fun stuff could be a real disaster!

If you’re still not convinced that hip strength is important, or think you’re good to go and don’t need to worry about it, I hope you’ll keep an open mind and continue reading…

An Active.com article called Runners and Weak Hips, spoke with Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner and coach in the Washington D.C. area, who attributes hip weakness to the constant sitting we do in our daily lives. Fitzgerald said, “When you consider how important proper hip strength is for runners and the fact that most runners don’t do the specific strength exercises that bolster the hip muscles, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

You read that right, he said, “Disaster waiting to happen.”

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Since the hips stabilize each leg during the stance phase of the running gait, strength in that area is particularly vital. “Hip weakness throws off all that stability, resulting in excess movement not only at the hip, but also at the knee,” says Fitzgerald. “The two most common injuries that result from weak hips include illiotibial band syndrome or patellofemoral pain syndrome, but in fact, many other injuries could occur from weak hips, including Achilles tendinopathy, shin splints and plantar fasciitis.”

All that from weak hips!

A study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine discovered an association between overuse injuries in the lower extremities and poor strength in the muscles around the hip region, including the hip abductor, adductor and flexor.

Chris Johnson, a New York City-based physical therapist and amateur elite triathlete explains, “If a runner is really weak in that area, it can set the stage for overcompensation injuries.” When certain muscles aren’t strong enough to do the work they are supposed to do during running, other muscles take on that work; this can result in overuse issues. When you strengthen your entire kinetic chain, individual muscles aren’t required to do more than they are built to do.

Fitzgerald has his athletes try a one-legged squat to determine hip strength. “You should be able to squat down so your femur is about parallel with the ground and your knee remains pointed straight ahead,” he says. “If you’re wobbling all over the place and your knee collapses inward, you have hip weakness.”

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Can you do a Pistol Squat? I’m pretty sure that no one is this group can do a full pistol squat. That means we ALL need to work on our hip strength. Yep, that means you!

I hope this has made an impact and you’re ready to to jump in and do some hip strengthening exercises with us. Even if you’re already strong in that area, there’s always room for improvement. What better time to do it when the exercises are quick and when everyone else is getting it done too!

We change it up a bit on Friday’s just to keep things from getting boring, but if you have an extra 8 minutes and 36 seconds, then go ahead and run through our Modern Mom hip video too. 🙂 Here’s the link to our page with that video.

Day 11 exercises: Hips – 3 sets of 10

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Brigid’s Runner Clams
  • Side Lying Leg Lift
  • Reverse Clams (feet up)
  • Forearm Plank (:60)
  • Pigeon Pose

Bonus: Single Leg Bridge & Donkey Kicks

Single-Leg Bridge: Lie on your back with both legs bent and your feet flat on the ground. Lift your left leg off the ground and extend it while you raise your lower back and butt. Hold the position for two seconds and lower back downwards in a controlled manner. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each leg.

Donkey Kicks: Get on all fours again, but this time you will only be lifting and extending your legs, keeping your hands on the ground. Instead of extending the leg backwards like you did during Bird Dogs, keep the knee slightly bent and kick upwards, with the bottom of your shoe facing the sky. Repeat 15 to 20 times on each side.


So…long runs coming up! What’s on your schedule this weekend? Anyone racing? Tell us about it so we can cheer you on!

Racery: Our #CoreCrew virtual race through Paris is already half way over! Are you getting your miles in a logged? We already have one Crew member who’s crossed the finish line. Way to go Lisa Lasseter! Who’s next? Here’s the top five runners so far!

Don’t forget to log your miles. You should get an email each day reminding you to log but if you can’t find it, or need to go back and log some miles you missed, here’s the link.

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Lisa Lasster is done and Jennifer Stoner is right behind her. She’s being chased by Amiee Cords, Catherine Wogoman, and Annette Williams! Tight race…but don’t count out those runners out of camera, they might sneak up and steal the show. Keep watching!


Last but certainly never least…STRETCH! Take some time to stretch out those legs after all the work you’ve put in this week and the work you’ve got coming this weekend. Your body will thank you!

7 Key Stretches for Runners

If you’re still on the fence about this month hip strength focus…think about how much it sucks to be sidelined from an injury. With the fun races we all have coming…ain’t nobody got time fo dat! Have a great Friday Crew! 🙂

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