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All in the Hips: October 14, 2011

Runners, they’re known for their strength and endurance. But there’s one weak spot that may be keeping them from going the distance.

“Some of the hip muscles particularly the hip abductors that we see are often weak in runners,” says Kath Kinross, a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System.

Lack of hip abductors, means a lack in performance.

“Without them your core is also weak because its not getting this being pulled together support and if your core is weak then your running mechanics are gonna be affected too,” says Kinross.

Not to worry, simple hip strengthening exercises like leg lifts and leg squats, will keep you on track.

“You need to have some extra exercises to build up the strength to support you so that when you run you’re less likely to get an injury,” says Kinross.

A third of serious runners will have an injury in a given year, and one third will involve the knee. A recent study looked at using these hip-strengthening exercises to alleviate ‘runner’s knee’.

“Pain under the kneecap, patella femoral pain syndrome, that’s particularly a problem because a lot of times our knees maybe tend to fall inwards, especially if we’re kind of weak in our hips and in our abdominal muscles,” says Kinross.

Giving your hips a work out will ease your knees. After all, these muscles are an important piece of the puzzle.

“Your hip abductors, they’re a bit like ropes on a tent they kind of pull everything together,” says Kinross.

So when you’re on the run, remember, its all in the hips.