Day 7: Hips and Core – Strength and Balance

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Lots of us have gone to the chiropractor and been told we are unbalanced. We can see this in running pictures too…but there are ways to correct this without expensive, thrice weekly doctor visits.

How? Strengthen our hips and core and work on our balance. By strengthening these areas, we are more likely to stand tall and keep our body in line at the end of a long race or training run.

Keeping our spine and hips in line keeps our oxygen flowing, allows our legs and knees to remain stable, and helps us avoid pain and injuries in our lower extremities.

It happens to all of us. At the end of a long race or training run, we tend to slouch and let our posture fall. We are tired and we just want to finish so our brain forgets and we begin to let things fall apart.

Below are images of me at Rock N Roll Savannah back in November before we started doing a lot of hip strength and balance work wearing my knee brace and consistently suffering from knee pain.

(Excuse the watermarks…I didn’t purchase these photos)

Since then I have dedicated a lot of time to hip strength and it has paid off. My posture has gotten  much better and my knee pain has all but disappeared. Case in point, see the pictures below from this past weekend at Rock N Roll New Orleans. Hips and aligned and knee brace is gone…and so is the pain in my knees.

I’ll never say “don’t see a doctor,” but if you’re having on-giong pain, and can’t figure out how to make it go away, strengthening your hips is a great start. I saw many different doctors, had x-rays and MRI’s and even cortisone shots in both knees…but until I started getting stronger in these area, nothing took the pain away.

It’s important to stretch and roll our legs too…I know I know…so many things to do…but as athletes, we must use every tool in our arsenal to be healthy and strong in order to stay on the road pain free.

Today’s hip strengthening and balance exercises had been key parts of my journey and I hope you embrace these exercises and make them part of your tool kit to success too.

Day 7 exercises: Hips strength video is found below and how to videos for single leg deadlifts and squats are in the link below.

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

  • Modern Moms/Dads Hip Strength -1X all the way through on each side
  • Single Leg Deadlifts – 2 sets of 10 for each leg
  • Squats – 2 sets of 10
  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges:

  • Superman – :40
  • Push Ups – 30
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – Plank for additional :45

Speed Work: Everyone’s favorite speed work and undoubtedly the least dreaded is 1/4 mile repeats. So this week, it’s time to put some pep in your step and pour on the speed.

Workout – 6X-12X 400M (1/4 mile) – If you are just easing into speed work for the first time. Keep it short and do 1/4 mile repeats 6 times for a total of 1.5 miles. If you’ve been doing this for a while now, and are training for a longer distance race…don’t be lazy…get in those 12 1/4 mile repeats for a total of 3 miles of speed work. Remember to warm up AND cool down. Both are very important parts of this workout. If you have questions, reach out to me. Let’s chat about how to make this work for you.

1/4 mile repeats can be done on the track, treadmill, or on the road with a GPS watch. Do whatever works for you…but don’t skip it. I know it can be daunting…but speed work will not only help you get faster, but it will also help you increase your breathing abilities and make your long runs easier.

Warm-Up  5:00 jog followed by your choice of Dynamic Movements (high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, sideways shuffles, skipping, etc)

Work-Out – 6-8 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.

*1:00 standing or walking rest in between each set.

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

  • If you run a 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • If you run a 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • If you run a 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • If you run a 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • If you run a 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • If you run a 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • If you run a 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

Cool-Down  5:00-10:00 easy jog (you’ve earned it!)


That’s all for today Crew. Let’s keep working on our hip strength and balance so we can stop that annoying lower extremity pain and stay on the road doing what we love…running!

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