Day 5: Guilty of Hip Drop?

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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.

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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

Quick Workouts:

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.

  1. Lie on your back with a resistence band around your knees at the top of your thighs.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Day 4: All About Arms!

#CoreCrew Family Weekend Miles – What an amazing weekend!!! So many miles logged by our little family! I’m only counting the miles added to our activity chain and I have a feeling not all the miles got logged there, but that’s ok. The miles added up quickly!

Total #CoreCrew miles Friday 9/1 – Sunday 9/3 = 341.72!

Pretty amazing Crew! If y’all liked this activity chain, I would love to keep it up every weekend. Let me know if you like this idea. 🙂

Monday Day 4: All About Arms!

Distance running is mentally and physically costly. It requires large outlays of energy. Almost every aspect of the activity adds to that energy expenditure, like holding your body upright and metronomically swinging first one leg and then the other forward and toward the ground. But scientists and coaches know that pumping your arms, although requiring energy, reduces the overall metabolic cost of running by helping to balance the moving body, increase forward propulsion or, perhaps, provide a bit of bounce, helping to lift us off the ground with each stride. In this theory, swinging the arms makes it easier to run.

Since our arms are part of the package and make it easier to run, building their strength is another important part of our training. We don’t need huge guns, but we don’t want weak noodle arms that flail around or fail to support us during tough runs.

Today’s workout targets key areas for our arms and will help us build the strength we need to use them to our advantage. Strong arms can make all the difference between a new PR or a disappointing finish.

While running work on keeping your arms by your side, swinging back and forth but without crossing in front of your body. Push backwards with your elbows to propel you forward. Keep you shoulder, hands and wrists loose to avoid cramping or tenseness in your upper body. Building strength in our shoulders, biceps, triceps and back will make the proper upright & stable posture more comfortable to hold for long periods of time during exercise. While you’re doing today’s exercises, make sure to hold your core tight! No swinging from the waist or rocking back and forth.

Day 4 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout
  • Day 4 exercises
  • Bonus Push Ups
  • Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Plan your weekly speed work

Quick Workout Routines:

Day 4 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Bicep Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Chest Presses
  • Plank – :60 or more!

Bonus: Push Ups – 2-3 sets of 10 – There are numerous ways to modify push ups to your fitness level. Start from a higher plane like a bench or wall, do knee push ups or go for it and do full body push ups!

Speed Work: Speed work makes us faster. If you want to improve your times, feel better during long runs, and increase your ability to breathe comfortably while running, you need to add speed work to your weekly routine.

If you normally do speed work once a week and you are racing today (really racing not just running a holiday race for fun) this is your weekly speed work. The rest of your workouts this week should be at your easy pace.

If you are training for a half or full marathon, and usually put in more than one day of speed work or add a tempo run, you can still do another speed workout this week. Just make sure you are putting a rest day or two in between.

Why 800m again?: IIP – Introduce, Improve, Perfect 

This will be the 3rd week doing the 1/2 mile repeats workout. the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) promote the concept of introducing a workout, improving upon the first session, then perfecting the workout. So we are doing the same workout again this week. If you have done this a couple times already, you should be feeling more comfortable with it and can use this week to push harder and see how far you’ve come!

Why are 800m (1/2 mile) repeats so effective? In the last 800M (1/2 mile) of a 5K, the last mile of a 10K, the last 5K of a half marathon, and the 10k of the marathon, YOU have to show up.

This workout is all about chasing that 800m repeat effect: It’s learning how to fight fatigue and battle the breakdown that will come when you’re pushing yourself hard. When you come around the last curve of your final 800M repeat, knowing you finished what you started, you will understand the reason behind speed work. When you finish that goal race and the jet-power showed up, it will be because YOU called for it.

Workout: 800 meter repeats (1/2 mile repeats) – The # of repeats you do will depend on the race distance you are training for.

  • 5K – 800M x 4
  • 10K – 800M x 5
  • Half Marathon – 800M x 6
  • Marathon 800M x 8
  1. Start with your warm up of 1-2 miles. This also depends on you. I prefer a nice long easy warm up and always shoot for 2 miles. In reality, I would love a 3-4 mile warm up because that’s when I really start to feel good!
  2. Take a few minutes to stretch and do some warm up drills like hip hurdles, butt kicks, lunges, slow skips, side skips, bounding, etc…
  3. Go into your workout – take a 2 minute rest in between each 800 meters (1/2 mile). Do NOT take longer than 2 minutes. Force yourself to keep going without letting your heart rate come all the way back to resting.
  4. Finish your full workout.
  5. End with a nice easy 1-2 mile cool down.

Day 4 “how to” videos:

Bicep Curls: Use a barbel or dumbbells, keep your back straight and strong and use your arms without swinging or rocking.

Hammer Curls: Next in our series is our hammer curl, called that because it looks kind of like a hammer. So instead of having your palms facing up, like you do with most bicep exercises, you’re going to have the weight perpendicular to the floor. Just like you’re holding a hammer.

Tricep Overhead Extensions: When we’re running and need to push our elbows backwards to propel us forward our triceps are doing the work. Strengthen them with this tricep Overhead extension.

Chest Presses: You can do this exercise using your stability ball, a bench if you have one, or lying on the floor. Our video shows how to do them from the stability ball. The same form technique applies to all positions.

Forearm Plank: The basic plank doesn’t involve moving at all. This is referred to as an isometric exercise. The key with the plank is to engage you core muscles in the right way so that through the effort of balancing and stabilizing your body, you are giving your core muscles a fantastic workout. And if you don’t think you can get a good workout by holding still, just wait until you try to hold a plank for 30-60 seconds…you’re going to feel it!

That’s all for now Crew. Once again…it’s time to DOMINATE MONDAY!!!

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