I wanted to show you the most effective hip strengthening exercises for runners.
Most Effective Hip Strengthening Exercises for Runners
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#1 – Single Leg Glute Bridge
Lie on your back with hands on the side. Relax your upper body. Bend the knees and tighten your abdominal area. Lift your hips up and straighten out one leg, hold that top position for a couple of seconds and bring the leg back then drop your hips down. Relax and repeat the movement to the opposite leg.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Perform 1 set of 5 reps in a smooth controlled movement with two seconds hold at the top position. The intensity can be light to moderate. The purpose of this exercise is to retarget the abdominal areas, the glutes, and the hip stability which is helpful for runners.
#2 – Donkey Kick
Start in a 4-point kneeling position. Maintain a good alignment in the hips, shoulders and head. Tighten your abdominal area. Lift one leg up and bend the knee to 90 degrees. Ideally, the knee is in line with the hip. Bring the leg back down and repeat the movement to the opposite leg.
Perform 1 set of 5 reps in smooth controlled movement with one second hold at the top position. The intensity is ligh. This exercise targets the core, glutes and hamstrings. These are important areas for runners to be strong in order to improve performance and prevent or overcome injuries.
#3 – Side Lying Hip Abduction
Lie down on your side with one arm overhead and rest your head on that arm. Maintain a good alignment in the upper body. Slightly bend the knee to prevent from rocking back and forth. Tighten the abdominal area and lift one leg up for about 30 to 45 degrees. Minimize the hip movement. Bring the leg back down, relax and repeat the movement.
Side Lying Hip Abduction
Perform 1 set of 5 reps in smooth controlled movement with a good stop at the top position. The intensity is light. The purpose of this exercise is to target the core abdominal area, the gluteus medius, one of the smallest gluteal muscles in the outer hip, which is very important in providing stability and support in the side to side movement. When you’re running, this gluteal muscle prevents your hips from rocking side to side, which puts unnecessary stress on the hips and knees.
#4 – Bird Dog Exercise
Start in a 4-point kneeling position. Maintain a good alignment in the head, shoulders and hips. Tighten the abdominal area. Extend your left leg behind you while reaching your right arm forward. Go to the point where you are straight from the wrist to the ankle. Go back to start position, relax and repeat the movement to the opposite side.
Bird Dog Exercise
Perform 1 set of 5 reps on each side alternating back and forth in smooth controlled movement with a good stop at the top position. This exercise targets the muscles around the shoulder blades, hips areas, glutes and hamstrings. The intensity is light.
The purpose of this exercise is to work on the abdominal area at a different angle more on a cross angle. It also works on stabilizing the muscles on the shoulder blades and glutes with the alternating arm and leg movement, which is important in running.
#5 – Forward Lunge Knee Driver
Begin in a nice and upright standing position with hands on the hip to help with balance. Take a step forward with one leg and lunge forward and then move into knee driver by raising one knee up.
Forward Lunge Knee Driver
Perform 1 set of 5 reps on each side in smooth controlled movement with a slow pause at the end of the movement. The intensity can be light to moderate. The purpose of this exercise is to work on the stability of the ankle, the knee, and the muscles around the hips and pelvis areas.
Give these five exercises a go. They are excellent hip strengthening exercises for runners.
If you want to overcome or prevent back and lower body injuries, then check out the Gluteus Medius Exercises program here:
Rick Kaselj, MS