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Pelvic Instability

Glutes can make or break the runner, this may not be breaking news to you. However we at StrideUK believe that the perfect exercise to strengthen your pelvis for the art of running hadn’t truly been discovered… until now.  

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Without going through the complexities of running biomechanics, the above image shows an average runner in ‘swing phase’ right and left. (swing phase is simply when one side is supporting the pelvis, the free leg is ‘swinging’ through.) This ‘swing phase’ is something we all do approximately 1700 times a mile. In biomechanics, it’s a very important cycle that can identify why pain and injuries develop up the back and down as far as the feet. Notice how during both phases how the pelvis drops as it is simply too weak to stabilise. As a result, you will notice how the knees ‘drop in’, legs  / feet splay out. This is often more common with women as they are genetically prone to being more ‘hyperflexible’ than men.  However if you are male, definitely don’t count your self out of this extremely common postural weakness. Poor pelvic stability causes tranverse movement across the pelvis which will reduce efficiency and cause surrounding muscles to work harder to stabilise. Overtime, pain and vulnerability injuries in the calves, knees, glutes and back will become obvious and injury could well occur if you carried on training.    

The problem being is that there are very few specific muscle targeting exercises that have been prescribed to runners to combat this core weakness. The reason being is that this area is so highly overlooked in sports clinics without the visual support of Video Gait Analysis.
And this is why we have designed the ‘Hip Dip!’
Whilst there are the common planks, superman, leg raise, clam, scissor lifts, leg extensions, squats, lunges, none of these exercises train the pelvis functionally for this weakness (to perform an exercise that replicates the intended movement for a particular sport). The hip dips hit the spot perfectly!! 

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Standing shoulder distance apart, with one foot clear off a step / slowly lower that leg until your pelvis cannot lower your foot any further. (it is vital that the supporting leg remains straight, do not bend the knee). When at its lowest point, slowly raise the lowered hip to bring your foot past normal leg level and raise it as high as it will go. Hold and squeeze for 5 seconds. Repeat this 10 - 15 times per leg, Alternate legs to 3 sets. Do understand that this exercise will hit the opposing glute and not the glute of the leg that is lifting. Perform the exercise slowly with control, you can always pulse at the high end of the lift to increase intensity. This ‘Hip dip’ will truly start hitting the deeper glute muscle that needs to support your pelvis every step of the way. Being the perfect core strengthening / core stabilising  / functional exercise, the Hip dip are therefore ideal for practicing out of marathon running season. Hips Dips is definitely something I would recommend to help reduce injury and increase your performance. Start Hip Dipping today!!! 

Use these to read further spotlights

Heel Striking
Forefoot running
Minimalist running
Walking lunges
Pelvic instability
Hamstring strengthening
Why stretch
Runners knee ITB
Single leg squats
Glutes, are you standing comfortably?
Squat test
Migrating to a minimalist shoe
Richard Whitehead Paralympic 200m
Medial Shin Splints
The cumulative effect
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