Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How important are the hips for injury-free running?

I know if I could get my hips working together as a balanced unit my running would be much more efficient and fun. While some people say that money is the root of all evil, I have found someone else who mirrors that weak hips are the root of many running injuries. In this article found at runninginjuryclinic.com, which is based on a study at the University of Calgary, hips are often the culprit when it comes to leg injuries in runners. In fact 92% of the runners who came to the clinic over a seven month period of time had weak hip muscles. By strengthening the hip muscles runners may be able to overcome other injuries such as knee troubles. Reed Ferber, who runs the clinic, said that, "89 per cent of the patients reported a significant improvement in pain within four to six weeks," after undertaking the hip strengthening exercises and other recommendations. "While strong hips aren't a guarantee against future running injuries," Ferber says, "improving the strength in your hips is a great way to reduce the number and severity of lower-leg running injuries."

What is helpful is that the clinic shows the hip strengthening exercises here. This is nothing new to me as I had these same exercises given to me by a PT many years ago. It is a reminder that they may be a good thing to implement in my routine to keep them strengthened.

I got this from an email from RMAX (Scott Sonnon) and it is an interesting hip mobility drill. I have not tried it at this level yet. I have done the leg swoop on the Intu-Flow DVD at a more beginning level. This is supposed to open and strengthen the hips. Here is a video of the movement.

From the same RMax email was this post concerning called "The 4 Myths of Joint Mobility".

Speaking of mobility and flexibility check out this 6 year old kid in India. That is taking things to the extreme!

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