Updated: May 12, 2020
Editors Note: This is the sixth post of our series designed to help you run for a lifetime. If you're tired of dealing with injuries every time you start running and wonder if you're even capable of running pain-free, this series is for you. You can find Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5, in the hyperlinked text. Shakira was right, your hips don't lie. If you're serious about running, not just to avoiding injury, and actually want to perform your best, all systems need to be "go". And when it comes to producing power in your lower body for your runs, your hips are the primary engines that get the job done. This may seem a bit counter-intuitive, as for decades we believed that footwear was the key to improving your ability to run and avoid injury. But research in recent years has shone a light on the fact that one of the primary differences between injured runners and those that run pain-free is the strength and mobility in their hips. The problem for most runners we encounter in the clinic is that they also spend a good portion of their days functioning as desk athletes. If you sit in a chair, technically you are flexing your hips. But only at about 75% of their normal capacity. Spend 6 to 8 hours per day in that shape (sitting) and you'll pare off a good deal of the rest of that hip motion as your glutes and hip flexors start to mat down on themselves. And what we know for sure is that a tight or short muscle is almost always a weak muscle. Not a good combination when you're trying to get your road work in. So what are the key motivations for us to help you achieve this standard? 1. Restore the normal mobility in your hip joints. 2. Unleash the power in your hips. 3. Improve your balance and reduce your risk of low back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot problems. If you could achieve all 3 of the above, that'd be o.k., right? THE TEST Start in a standing position with both feet positioned under your hips. Grab one leg around the knee and pull your knee over the crease of your hip.
When you're ready, let go of your knee and let your arms relax by your side. You should be able to hold this position for 30 seconds with your knee above the crease of your hip and without losing your balance.
TRY, TRY AGAIN... If you couldn't pass the test, here are two of our favorite mobilizations for the hip. Try to get 2 minutes of each one of these then re-test the hip flexion standard and see if you're better.
STILL NOT BETTER? You may need some professional help. And that's where we come in. Give us a shout via a message here or via our phone or e-mail contact info listed below! Let's work together to solve your running problems once and for all and make you an invincible runner! We've helped countless runners restore their bodies and run better than they ever had even before injuries.