I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been fighting a few niggling injuries in my marathon and ultramarathon training. Nothing is keeping me off the streets, but I am spending more time than usual with the ice pack, foam roller, and epsom salts.
There are three exercises that I do regularly that I credit for keeping me running. I do them every day in small sets throughout the day. I want to keep those little annoying issues from becoming full-blown injuries.
To avoid the dreaded runner’s knee, I have been working to strengthen my gluteus medius. A stonger glute med helps the IT band to function efficiently; a happy IT band keeps the knee tracking appropriately. This triumvariate relationship is a great example of how pain may or may not be related to the location where you’re feeling the pain. Working various parts of the kinetic chain helps the running gait to be as smooth and natural as possible.
Strengthening the glute med is really important for people like me– women who have had multiple babies and who have a pelvis that may not be sitting in its optimal position.
The three exercises I do are:
Fire Hydrant— two sets of 20 per leg each day
Side Plank Lift/Lower— two sets of 12-15 per side each day
Outer Thigh Leg Lift— two sets of 20 per side each day
Give those a try for a few days, and let me know how it affects your running. I’ll be back in a few weeks for the second level of Glute Med work.
Until then, good health and great happiness to you!