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Weekly Fitness Challenge Hip Exercises For Runners

This week’s challenge is by no means high intensity.  It is more of an exercise that will help improve your overall hip function.  If you are a runner it will help you run more efficiently by strengthening your glutes which are very important for hip extension, and pelvic control during the single leg phase of running. 

I won’t get too technical, but here are a few basics about what your glutes do during running.  Your gluteus Medius/minimus is a muscle on the side of your hip which connects your pelvis to your leg bone(femur). These two muscles are vital to keeping your leg bone vertical when you are standing on one leg.  While running and walking if your glute Medius or minimus are weak it will force your muscles around your knee and in your lower leg to work harder to maintain proper running/walking mechanics.  Subsequently, when you get tired your mechanics can break down making you more prone to injuries. 

Your gluteus maximus is primarily a hip extensor.  This muscle allows your leg to move backwards on your pelvis while your foot is on the ground. Gluteus maximus weakness will cause you to shorten your stride and this will force your thigh and lower leg muscles to work harder. 

If you are not a runner performing these 3 simple exercises will lead to better movements while walking, lunging and squatting so don’t skip these exercises just because you are not a runner.

  1. Standing stretch band rotational step and return
  2. Standing hip extension – Leg Loop or nothing
  3. Hands and Knees – Diagonal hip extension kicks

Perform the exercises daily, with slow deliberate movements and do a minimum of 2 sets but preferably 3.  I am happy to answer any questions via email or phone about running or any other injuries you may be experiencing. 

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