Day 9: It’s HIP to be STRONG!

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This should really say, “when you 80, or 85, or 90…because we have some STRONG women in their 60s who are no where close to hip replacements! But you get the point. Not only do we want strong hips for the long haul, but strengthening our hips fires up a chain reaction that reverberates all the way down our legs.

Strong hips mean less pain and fewer injuries in our legs. In fact a recent active.com article states,

Since the sport of running has begun to enjoy a second boom in recent years, much attention has been paid to injury prevention. More specifically, the industry has focused largely on both foot strike and footwear as major causes of running ailments. It turns out, however, that there’s another culprit that runners often overlook: hip weakness.

Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner and coach in the Washington D.C. area, says that hip weakness has become more prevalent as a result of the sitting we do in our daily lives. “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,” he says.

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.”

If you read all the way through that, you noticed that hip weakness can cause IT Band syndrome (IT Band pain), patellofemoral pain syndrome (knee pain), Achilles tendinopathy (Achilles problems), shin splints (ouch!), and plantar fasciitis (lots of Core Crew dealing with this one).

So now you know, when I go on and on about hip strength…I am not making this stuff up!

I’m in a lot of running groups, and I know I get a lot of eye rolls when I bring up strength work as a means to elevate leg pain. Everyone wants the quick easy answer to getting back on the road. They want to ice the injury, rest a little, and come back pain free.

Well yes, ice is never a bad idea. Resting when we have pain is always a good thing too… Rolling is also a great way to relax our muscles and relieve some of the pressure…but if that’s all you do, the pain will come back. You’re not getting stronger and finding a way to keep the injury from happening, you’re just masking it for the moment and then wondering why your body hates you.

So I will continue to harp on you about strengthening these areas. And you can keep rolling your eyes at me and keep hurting…or you can get to work on making yourself stronger. The choice is yours Crew!

I hope you’ll choose wisely and….

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Day 9 exercises: 3 sets of 10 (adding another set! 🙂 ) 

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

  • Single Leg Hip Lift
  • Split Squat (weighted)
  • 4-way Band Walk (low squat walk if you don’t have bands)
  • Wall Sit – :60 (post run if you are running today)

Challenges:

  • Ab Challenge – 25 Crunches, 25 Bicycle Crunches, 25 Leg Lifts + :40 Plank
  • 20 Burpees

Bonus: Donkey Kick Workout 

An oldy but a goodie! This one hurts y’all. It isn’t easy but it is only 10 minutes and you will feel the burn. Someone (I forget who this early) asked me to post my video instead of the original so here it is. Follow along with me and let get us some strong and powerful hips!


Speed Work: Today is pretty much the last day you should be doing speed work if you are going long this weekend. If you are racing this weekend….do NOT do speed work today. You will not benefit from pushing yourself this close to a race. Time to take it easy, do some strength work and trust your training.

If you’re not racing, and not going long till Sunday, time to go fast! Here’s this week’s workout:

Workout: 4-8X 800M (1/2 mile repeats 4-8 times) 

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles easy
  2. 1/2 mile repeats with slow jog or stop and stand still and breathe in between sets  (:90-2:00 rest in between sets)
  3. Cool down 1-1.5 miles easy

Wondering how fast or how much effort you should be putting into this workout? Look at the chart below and find a recent 5K time or what you think you would be able to ru for a 5K. The pace next to it is for 1/4 mile repeats (or 400meters) Take that time than double it and add 8-10 seconds. So if you run a 5K in 25 minutes you should run your 400 meter repeats in about one minute 49 seconds. So for 800s you double that to 3 minutes 38 seconds then add 8-10 seconds getting 3:48-3:50 per 800 meters (or every 1/2 mile).

I know this sounds a little confusing so if you aren’t sure please reach out to me and ask. I will help you figure out where you should be.

If you are new to speed work. Start small and don’t overthink it. Start with 4x 1/2 mile repeats (total of 2 miles) and just practice getting close to your time goal each for each 1/2 mile. If you have been doing speed work for a while or are used to go longer distances, suck it up and go for 8x and watch your pace on the first few sets. Don’t try to go all out and beat that pace time. The goal here is stay right on target and hit that time, not to go faster in the beginning and burn out so you can’t finish the workout.

Need help? PLEASE PM me here and let’s chat!

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Another thought…back pain can also result from weak hips…so it’s not just our legs that suffer. EVERYONE can benefit from these strength exercises. Ignore the underlying problem and you will continue to suffer.

Stop masking the problem. Fix it by getting stronger!

Let’s get to work and have a great day Crew! 🙂

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