Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get Hip

If you're a reader of my other blog, then you know I've been out for a while with an ITB injury. Aside from whining about it (quite a bit!) I am also working to fix the things that got me to this point in the first place. One of them is a lack of hip and butt strengthening exercises in my strength routine.

Turns out, I'm not alone in having weak glutes and hips--most runners neglect these areas and it sometimes comes back to haunt them. To avoid ending up with an injury that is partly the result of weak hips and glutes, try some of these strengthening exercises that I've recently added to my routine:
  • Hip thrusts--Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground. Lift one leg and point it towards the ceiling. Slowly lift your butt off the ground and thrust your leg up. Repeat 10 times on each side.
  • Bridges--You can do these in the same position as above, or make it even tougher by placing your feet on a stability ball. Simply raise your butt off the ground until your body forms a line, pause, and return slowly to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  • Lateral raises--Lie on your side with legs out straight. Slowly lift your leg up and back down again (think old Jane Fonda videos!). Repeat 10 times on each side. To make it tougher, place a Theraband around your ankles.
  • Clam shells--Lie on your side with knees bent to about 45 degrees. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee up and then back down. Repeat 10 times on each side. Again, make it more difficult with a Theraband, this time around your knees.
  • Lateral steps--Place a Theraband around your ankles in a standing position. Squat slightly and take 10 steps in one direction, stop and then take 10 steps in the other direction. That's one set.
Start with one set of each move and work up to two or three as you get stronger. There are other exercises you can find as well, but these are a few basic moves that can go a long way to helping neglected muscles. I hope it helps keep you on the road!


  1. Thanks for these - I know that weak hip and glutes contributed to my IT issues. One of my goals for this year is to strengthen them so I don't end up hurt again!

  2. I've never done the Clam Shell - I will try it tomorrow. Thanks for the idea.

  3. Good stuff, thank you!! I am trying some of those exercises today. It sucks when the rest of my body is ready to go, and my hips are not in the game!

  4. Hi I am finishing up a series of p90x, which has some similar exercises in the yoga-x part of the program. May be worth a look...

    Running for Beginners

  5. Yup I've def got weak glutes.. wish I had my younger ones. I get lazy about doing extra work besides running. Thank you, great stuff!!

  6. My IT band issue had me at PT doing all the exercises you mention - mostly on a ball too for additional stability - plus doing situps (the right way with back pressed into floor). Unfortunately for me, my ITB issue was really a compensation for the true issue - very minor structural issue with the hip joint (ball of hip has bump on it that is rubbing cartilage and causing inflammation which then caused me to run differently).

    So, definitely work those glutes and continue roll-roll-rolling the ITB - all EXCELLENT for runners to balance us out - but if the pain doesn't subside (for me, I finally gave up on PT after 4 mos of no decrease in pain but major decrease in mileage)...get an MRI of the hip to make sure it's not structural like mine. (My solution is to have hip arthroscopy to fix...but can't comment yet if it in <1 wk)

  7. Good post! Great information! Thanks for sharing! :)