Hip weakness has been shown in research to have association with lower extremity running-related overuse injuries, particularly weakness of the hip abductors. The hip abductors are the muscles on the side of your hip which are responsible for moving your leg straight out to the side when your leg is not on the ground. More related to running, these muscles are responsible for controlling your pelvis position when your foot is on the ground.
Weak hip abductors have been linked to increased incidence of IT band syndrome and patellofemoral pain (pain around/under the knee cap), while stronger than normal hip abductors have been shown to reduce the risk of lower extremity overuse injuries.
2 exercises which have the greatest strengthening effect on the abductors are the single leg squat and the side plank.
The keys to the single leg squat include maintaining a level pelvis throughout the movement, and to keep the knee in line with the hip and ankle (DO NOT let the knee fall inward towards the other leg). The side plank should be performed with the body in a straight line, without rotation of the hips, and keeping the hips from dropping towards the floor. The hip abductors of the leg on the bottom are the ones being worked. For a progression, try lifting the top leg.
Continue to check back on Mondays as I address all things running including overuse injury risk reduction, strengthening, mechanics, and more!
#running #injuries #riskreduction #strengthening #portlandmaine