By Elizabeth Towe
Is it off season? Maybe, but it IS time to work on your running gait! If you have had nagging knee pain or hip pain, it might be easily corrected with some hip strength and stability. In running gait, you plant your stance leg in order to use the ground forces to push your hips forward. The pelvis must rotate around the stance leg to bring the swing leg through. Both of these movements require strength and stability in order for the pelvis to rotate (while in single leg stance) without the leg or torso wobbling.
- Stand on one leg, with feet side by side. Hold a light dumbbell in the hand opposite of the standing leg, starting at shoulder height.
- Begin squatting by hinging at your hip joint and sweep the dumbbell and reach for the outside of the standing calf. As you reach across you should feel the ribcage rotate towards the standing leg. Also notice the pelvis rotate around the standing femur—without tilting or dropping the pelvis. Carefully rotate your spine with your ribcage (do not flex forward)
- How low do you squat? As low as you can and maintain alignment of hip, knee and foot (front view)—don’t let the knee drop in.
- Begin to push yourself back up to single leg stance and sweeping the dumbbell across to the starting position at the shoulder, then press straight up overhead.
- Repeat 10-12x on each leg, 2-3 sets.
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Elizabeth Towe is a runner and a cyclist and the owner of Balanced Movement Studio in Carrboro. She graduated from East Carolina with a degree in exercise and sports science and has been personal training for over 20 years. Her ultimate goal for all of her clients is to help them realize and achieve the optimal quality in their life – and to remember to have fun doing it.