Our “weak bums” contribute to injuries….injuries that no runner wants to deal with.
Strengthening the muscles of the bum, hip, thigh, and leg are essential for a runner to maintain power and health!
Our hip muscles control the mechanics of our knees, so if we have weak hip abductor muscles and poor hip rotator muscle strength, our knees are at a higher risk of injury from patellofemoral pain syndrome and iliotibial band syndrome. We’ve already seen a few studies this month about how weak hips cause issues…but there’s more!
A recent study published for runners and referred to on RunnersConnect.com looked at the contributions of three muscles — the gluteus medius, the gluteus maximus, and the tensor fascia lata (TFL) — to hip motion hip strength exercises.
These three muscles are of interest because they have distinct and significant roles.
- The gluteus medius is the main abductor and external rotator of the hip.
- The gluteus maximus extends the hip and assists with abduction and external rotation.
- The TFL is an abductor of the hip, but because of its positioning, it can also contribute to internal rotation
According to John Fairclough, who published an article specifically about IT Band Syndrome in the Journal of Science and Medicine, “a tense TFL (tensor fascia late), because it connects directly to the knee’s lateral side via the iliotibial band, may increase knee strain that could develop into or exacerbate injury.
His final thoughts…
So what does all this mean for us? Well…Runners Connect and this Journal of Science and Medicine study suggest 5 exercises that are specific to runners and will help us strength our hips, and prevent and treat injuries.
- sidesteps with band
- single-leg glute bridges
- bent knee donkey kicks
- straight leg donkey kicks
Great news for us since we have done ALL of these exercises this month! So for today, let’s do them again. Bonus exercises today: side steps with band, single leg glute bridge, and both variations of donkey kicks. Don’t worry it won’t take too long. These exercises transition easily into the next one.
Day 18 exercises: Hips – 3 sets of 10
- Brigid’s Runner Clams
- Side Lying Leg Lift
- Reverse Clams
- Forearm Plank – :60
- Pigeon Pose
Bonus: 2-3 sets of 10
- Side Step with band (If you don’t have a band it’s super cheap and would be a good investment!)
- Single Leg Glute Bridge
- Donkey Kicks (bent knee)
- Donkey Kicks (straight leg)
See below for slide show with photos of these exercises as reminders.
She Power Virtual Half Marathon & 5K: Remember that “She Power” virtual half marathon/5K we talked about a few weeks ago? Jan let me know that it’s on sale right now for $25.50 so it’s the perfect time to sign up!
The virtual race will be in January and you can run it anytime within the month. You can run it all at once, or in pieces, but I think we will try to pick a date that a lot of us can try to run it “virtually together.” I will start an event in Strong to the Core so we can chat more about the date that works best for everyone.
Let us know when you sign up! Here’s the link: https://131events.com/she-power/
So what’s on your schedule this weekend? Who’s racing? I know Jamie Murray is running the Philadelphia Half Marathon on Saturday and he’s gonna KILL it! 🙂 Jamie, ca we track you? Anyone else doing this race or other races? Full? Half? Any fun 5Ks?
What about long runs? Tell us what’s on your schedule so we can cheer you on!
Remember….distance makes the heart grow stronger! So figure out your plan and get ready to GO LONG Crew! 🙂