Whether you are training for a marathon or a 5K, it is important that you are prepared before you even step foot on the pavement. Fitness 911 will prepare the runner so that she is not sidelined a month into training because of an over-use injury. Nothing is more frustrating for an avid runner than not making it to the starting line.
A common syndrome many runners experience due to the biomechanics of gait and form is called Iliotibial Band Syndrome or IT Band Syndrome.
The IT Band is a group of fibers that run along the outside of the leg starting at the top of the hip and continuing down to the lateral aspect of the knee joint. I won’t get into too much detail, but due to overcompensation of the IT Band and the Tensor Fascia Latae (TLF) during hip flexion, this area becomes tight. This is because our booty’s aren’t doing the work they are supposed to.
Because of the tightness of the IT Band, you may have pain in the lateral portion of the knee, hip flexor/pelvis area, and the entire lateral aspect of the leg. Not only can this be painful but frustrating since the rest of your body feels fab. To combat this syndrome before you hit the road, do these simple exercises to strengthen the lateral gluteals.
Begin by lying flat on the floor in the supine position with knees bent, feet flat, toes pointing ahead and arms out by your sides. Dig your heels into the mat and activate your core by drawing your navel towards the spine. Slowly lift hips off the ground to form a straight line between the knees and shoulders.
Start with a slight bend in both knees. Slowly step out and sit the hips back. Your knee should be behind your toes and in line with them. Press through the heel of the bent leg using lateral (outside) of your glutes.
Glute Press in Quadruped position
Start with hands and knees on mat and a neutral spine. Slowly press the bottom of your foot towards the ceiling, keeping your foot flexed. Keep a bent knee throughout the range of motion. Press up and squeeze and lower ½ way down and repeat.
Standing Hip Abduction
Stand up tall with a tight core and slight bend through the knees. With a flexed foot press away from your body. As you reach your maximal range of motion turn foot outward and squeeze.
Running shoes are an important accessory for the running fashionista. Check back later this morning for a review of a few good running shoes.
JamieJamie Temple, ACE, ACSM, Personal Trainer/Fitness Specialist