Core Exercises For Runners

Lets face it, there are a TON of exercises for the core. A lot of them would likely help with trunk and pelvis stability, but these three have specific implications for runners. Runners should perform core exercises that also target hip abduction and external rotation to help resist dynamic knee valgus. “There is a tendency for the hip to collapse into adduction and internal rotation as the hip flexes during weight bearing. This triplanar motion is most commonly observed during the weight acceptance phase of high-demand activities such as running or landing from a jump. As a single joint muscle, the gluteus maximus is best suited to provide 3-dimensional stability of the hip, as this muscle resists hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation.” Here are three core exercises that target the gluteus maximus in a prone position. 1) Hip extension 2) Donkey kicks 3) Fire Hydrants According to Kang et al. 2013, EMG amplitude of the gluteus maximus (GM) was highest when the hip was in 30˚ abduction, and another study by Kwon and Lee in 2013 found GM EMG amplitude to be the highest when the knee was flexed to 90˚. Try bunching these three exercises back-to-back and doing multiple sets for time to build endurance! Once these exercises get easy, you can progress to upright standing exercises targeting the glutes. References: Powers CM. The Influence of Abnormal Hip Mechanics on Knee Injury: A Biomechanical Perspective. J Orthop Sport Phys Ther. 2010;40(2):42–51. Kang S-Y, Jeon H-S, Kwon O, Cynn H, Choi B. Activation of the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles during prone hip extension with knee flexion in three hip abduction positions. Man Ther. 2013;18(4):303–307. Kwon Y-J, Lee H-O. How different knee flexion angles influence the hip extensor in the prone position. J Phys Ther Sci. 2013;25(10):1295–7.
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