Attention Runners: Key Hip Strengthening Exercises

Running is an amazing activity as it is low-cost, easily accessible, and provides numerous health benefits. However, along with other sports, running can lead to frequent pain and injuries. Approximately 56% of recreational runners sustain a running-related injury per year, while long-distance runners have an even higher incidence rate of up to 80%. Of these injuries, the most common location is the knee, followed by the calf and thigh/hip.

If you’re a runner and have dealt with an injury, you know how frustrating it can be! We often want to push through the pain because we are focused on mileage, times, and our routine – hey, running is therapeutic and we often don’t want to take time off! This is even more reason why it’s important to focus on strengthening, both to rehab from an injury or to help prevent an injury from occurring. No matter what part of your leg is injured, it’s likely that hip strengthening is going to be an important part of your rehabilitation and recovery.

Our hips and glutes are a big energy powerhouse during running for both speed and endurance. If our hip and glute muscles are strong, then it takes load off our hip joint, knee, ankle, foot – basically everything down the chain! Here are some key hip strengthening exercises for you to add into your exercise routine to help optimize your running ability.

Lay on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground/bed. Lift your bottom off the table and squeeze your glute muscles.Sidesteps – With a little squat, sidestep down and back along your room. To make this more challenging, add a resistance band around your knees or ankles!

Squats – A classic! I like to perform these with a bench/chair behind so that it makes sure you have good form. You can tap the edge of the seat lightly, so you are getting good depth in your squat.

Clamshells – Lay on your side with your knees bent. Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee up. Do not let your pelvis rotate back. You should feel this working in your glute.

If you  or someone you love are in need of pre or post surgical care, general re-conditioning, or help returning to sport/daily activities in the wake of an injury – help is available to you!

With now 14 Greater St. Louis area locations and an expert staff – we are here to help.

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