Monday, April 6, 2015

How I am activating my hips for long distance running

My Hip Strategy vs. Knee Strategy

by Kathleen Lisson

I'm not a physical therapist, so don't take any of this as medical advice.

I took one huge a-ha away from last weekend's Movement Performance Institute 'Evaluation and Treatment of the Injured Runner: A Biomechanical Approach' class taught by Christopher M. Powers from USC. Long distance runners absorb a lot of shock every time we take a step, and we absorb that shock in our joints and our shoes. Even the best shoes still leave a lot of shock absorbtion for our bodies to handle. How do we handle it? By using our ankles, knees and hips as shock absorbers. Many runners do NOT adequately use their hips to shock absorb, so the burden falls on the knees or ankles. 

From what I heard, we runners can use a 'hip strategy' - let our hips take some of the burden of shock absorption from potentially overburdened ankles and knees. How does this happen? I have been practicing strengthening my glutes with the following exercises. Instead of doing repetitions, I am holding the clamshell, fire hydrant and surfer squat for one minute. 

Clamshell Exercise -

Fire Hydrant Exercise 

Surfer Squat

Step Down Exercise

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