In my earlier years, cardio was my main form of exercise and stress relief. I entered races to keep my motivation to run; competing in 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, and triathlons. As a runner and therapist, one thing I’ve come to understand is the value of strength training. It is a valuable tool that runner’s tend to neglect. For runners, incorporating strength exercises into your routine will not only help prevent injury, but it can make you stronger, faster, and more efficient.
The hips are the main areas for targeted strengthening. Strong hips protect and support your knee joint, which is a common site of injury for runner’s. The hip muscles include the gluteal muscle group which flex, rotate, extend, and abduct the leg. When you push off the ground to swing your leg through, a strong hip will propel you forward. When the foot hits the ground a strong hip will stabilize the impact of the force. Strong gluteal muscles also affect the strength of the pelvic floor to prevent leaking. A fascinating tip regarding the pelvic floor – these muscles activate to anticipate the load of heel strike during a run. This means the pelvic floor muscles involuntarily prepare the core for greater impact.(1)
In this video I give you 3 ways to test your hip strength. Look for the weak points, the inability to support or to lift. This gives you a starting point. You test in order to train. Each of these tests then becomes the strength exercise. Progression from this would be to add a greater load or to add speed.
Helping people return to running after injury, run more efficiently, and run without leakage is something I have truly enjoyed over the years. If you need more one-one-one help, contact me here.
- source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27794169