Such an important day. Hip & Glute strength!
Our hips and glutes are so much more important than we give them credit for. They connect and support everything from our upper torso to the bottom half and are more often than not, overlooked and under utilized.
Without strong, stable hips and glutes our legs will not function properly. If we ignore, they will let us down; plaguing us with knee pain, hamstring soreness, IT Band tightness, and calf issues. Strong and hips & glutes keep our pelvis stable, which keeps our legs in line without putting undue weight and pressure on our lower half.
Over the past 6 years, I have dealt with lots of knee pain. I saw numerous Drs., had many MRIs and x-rays, and was always told there was nothing wrong. At least nothing visible. I took IB Proferin , got cortisone shots, iced them religiously, took time off when necessary…and still had pain. I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2016 with terrible knee pain after mile 18. I trained really hard that summer and was devastated that I couldn’t overcome this issue.
Right after Chicago, I saw an orthopedic who said, “It’s not your knees, it’s your hips. Your hips and glutes are weak and you have a hip drop when you’re running which causes everything below to be out of alignment and hurt.” WOW news to me! Dr. Heekin gave me hip strengthening exercises and told me to keep running!
Within 6 weeks of consistent hip and glute exercises, I was pain-free in 6 weeks. That was last October, and I have not dealt with knee pain since then. Seriously y’all…pain free!
Below are two pics of me at Rock n Roll Savannah in November 2016, only a few weeks after Chicago, wearing my knee brace, and very guilty of this “hip drop”.
I wasn’t standing tall and strong. I was letting my hips drop when I got tired, sending extra pressure and unneccessary weight into my legs which traveled all the way down to my feet. The result? Knee pain.
Fast forward about 10 months, with lots of stregnth work in my hips and glutes and I am running tall, strong and proud! I know y’all saw this picture yesterday, and I am not trying to boast (even though I am super stoked about my PR 🙂 ), just want you to see the difference in my posture and stance after paying attention to those poor, ignored pelvic muscles.
If you have access to past race pictures, look throug them and see if you are guilty of hip drop. It’s a subtle thing that we probably won’t notice if we don’t look for it. But when you do…you’ll see it. If you’re not sure, send me your race photo and I’ll tell you what I see looking at your posture and stance.
Even if you’re not guilty of hip drop, all our hips and glutes deserve love and attention. Ready to give those pelvic musles some love? Let’s do this!
Day 5 Plan:
- Quick Morning Workout and Quick Before Bed Workout
- Day 5 exercises
- Bonus – Lying on Back Clamshells
- Speed work – If your speed work happens on Tuesday
- Hips stretches – Pigeon pose and Glute – see below
Day 5 exercises: 2-3 x 10 (see “how to” videos below)
- Donkey Kicks
- Fire Hydrants
- Side Lying Leg Raises
- Single Leg Bridge
- Wall Sit – :60 or more!
Bonus: Lying on Back Clamshells – This is an exercise Annette shared with our group the other day and it’s a good switch up for regular clams. Step by step directions are below and you can find a “how to” video in our Facebook group at this link.
- Lie on your back with a resistence band around your knees at the top of your thighs.
- Hold your hips strong and steady as you move one knee out to the side at a time. Move with slow precision and really feel the pull in your hips and glutes.
- Repeat movement 10 per side.
Speed Work: Introduce, Improve & Perfect – Click here and scroll down for the workout and the “why” and “how” we do it.
Hip and Glute stretches:
Day 5 “how to” videos:
Donkey Kicks: Targeting your Hips, Glutes and Lower Back, this movement also helps strengthen your core!
Fire Hydrants: The Fire Hydrant is a great complex hip stregnthening exercise that works our glute medius, hip complex and pelvic muscles.
Side Lying Leg Raises: This exercises is designed to strengthen your glutes and shape your derriere, giving you that coveted “runner’s butt”.
Single Leg Bridge: Simple leg bridges are a great way to build hip and glute stregnth.
Wall Sit: Lots of you are getting into the habit of throwing in a wall sit after every run. That is awesome….keep it up! Wall sits on tired legs are great ways to build stregnth in our quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves!