Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.

Hips Don't Lie

How can we avoid common running injuries around the hips?

by My Finish Line


When looking to improve efficiency, hamstrings quads and calves are always in the front of the queue when it comes to us looking for advice on the symphony of intra-muscular dynamics and timings we call ‘running’. But we would be wrong. The hips are almost certainly the most important muscle group.

The iliopsoas (or soas for short) group of muscles play a huge role in linearity of running (how straight and efficient we run), as well as stride length and stride frequency. In fact without these muscles, the hamstrings and quads would be operating independently of the trunk muscles and simply wouldn’t be propelling our bodies forward at all.

And yet when we drive, sit down, even sleep, we are actively de-training and de-conditioning these muscles. They are like a sheepdog – they are always begging to be run around and trained. Weak hip muscles can lead to all kinds of ailments that not only affect running gait, but can lead to posture problems and back issues further down the track. The hips need to be strong (in order to produce and/or absorb force) as well as long (in order to be able to elongate stride and take pressure off the hamstrings).

We recommend:

Mobility – lie down with your back on the floor, looking at the ceiling, and bring your knee to your chest and hold for a count of ten. Then lie on your front, grab your foot and bring your heel to your buttocks and hold for a count of ten.

Strengthening – Standing with your feet together, bring your knee up so that your quad is parallel to the floor and hold that position for 30 seconds with hands on hips

Exercise Choice in Gym: The Barbell Hip Thrust. - This exercise has (correctly) gained popularity over the last few years with people looking to strengthen their hips, glutes and core. We recommend moderate weight with a slow up phase and slow down phase, no more than 5 reps.