It is no longer a secret which is the most important muscle when it comes to running (unless you still haven’t read part 1 of this article!)

Part 2 as promised is going to focus on the Gluteus Medius muscle- a muscle which seems to be connected to the many running injuries ( ITB syndrome, and runners knee to mention a few)

The Gluteus Medius muscle (see picture in part 1) is responsible for abduction of ones leg, but even more importantly it is responsible for stabilizing the pelvis and preventing adduction and internal rotation of the hip (see picture below). Poor pelvic stability and an increase in hip adduction and internal rotation have been shown to increase loads on your Patellofemoral joint-which may lead to runners knee. In addition, a weak Gluteus Medius, may cause another muscle in the area (called the Tensor Fascia Lata or TFL for short) to work harder. The TFL is connected to the ITB… (can you see where Im going with this?)

Adduction and internal rotation of the femur

Adduction and internal rotation of the femur

So in short, its time to strengthen your Gluteals.

Below are 5 exercises you can do to strengthen your Gluteus Medius. It is important that some of these exercises (the first 3) are done in front of a mirror. These are not hard exercises but they need to be done correctly in order to be effective.

One leg squat

One leg squat

How to perform this exercise:

Stand in front of a mirror on one leg. Bend your knee to about 60 degrees and straighten. It is very important that your knee travels in the direction of your second toe and doesn’t turn inwards

Progression

See next exercise (One leg squat with band)

 

One leg squat with band

One leg squat with band

How to perform this exercise:

Tie a theraband above your knee- open your legs hip width apart and stand on one leg. Perform your mini squat (as written above). The band will try to pull your leg inwards. The direction of your knee needs to stay in line with your second toe

Progression

You can change the color of the band to make it harder or stand on an unstable surface like a balance cushion

 

Band abductions

ex 3

How to perform this exercise:

Start in the same position as the above exercise (one leg squat with band). Move your free leg out to the side and back. This exercise works on the Gluteus Medius muscle of both legs

Progression

You can  change the color of the band or stand on a balance cushion

 

Side Lie Clam

Side lie clam

 

How to perform this exercise:

Lie on your side. Feet together. Lift your knees apart (without rotating your back or moving your feet). Lower your knee and tap the other knee (don’t rest). Repeat

Progression

Lift both feet off the ground an inch and repeat.

Tie a theraband around your thighs

 

Side plank abduction (For those who are really strong)

Side lie plank

How to perform this exercise:

Lie on your side with your legs straight. Lift your bottle and lower

Progression

If you are really crazy you can try lifting and lower your top leg whilst keeping the plank position

 

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