One of the biggest issues facing runners today are weak hips. Thanks to years of sitting in our cars, at our desks and in front of the TV we tend to lack strength in our core (which includes the hips) and this imbalance can cause numerous injuries when running. IT band syndrome, runners knee, and other over-compensation issues can arise if the hips are not conditioned properly because these muscles play a vital role in stabilizing the rest of the leg while running.
To help prevent injury and keep you running pain free add these simple hips strengthening exercises to your weekly routine:
Strengthening all the muscles around the hips, particularly the hip flexors, glutes, extensors and abductors with this simple exercise. Start by placing a resistance band with moderate tension around both ankles. Bend your knees slightly and step forward and out to the side so you feel the resistance in the front and outside of your hip. Take 5-10 steps forward, then reverse it and take 5-10 steps backwards. Use the same motion, moving backwards and slightly out to the side with each step.
Lateral Side Step
Lateral side steps are perfect for firing up the glutes and quads. The glutes are important for extending and rotating the hips and are key for good running form. Place a resistance band around each ankle and slowly step sideways. Have the leading leg do all of the hard work and absorb the most resistance, while the back leg follows for stability. Take 5-10 steps and then switch directions repeating on the other side.
This resistance band exercise helps strengthen the hip by stabilizing the femur into the hip joint. Tie a resistance band around a nice sturdy object and loop the end around the ankle furthest away. Stand up straight in a comfortable position and slowly raise the outside leg out to the side as far as possible, then pause before lowering it back down to the starting position. Repeat until you feel the burn and switch sides.
Strengthen the gluteus maximus and the hips with this great squat! Having a strong butt helps runners to generate force for forward propulsion, and it looks good 😉 Win-Win. Simply loop a resistance band just above the knee and perform a normal squat, but as you lower down press outwards with you knees until you feel the resistance. This outward pressure will help strengthen the hips as you squat.