Fresh Start to Fitness: Exercises to Strengthen and Enhance Flexibility in Your Hips

Fresh Start to Fitness: Exercises to Strengthen and Enhance Flexibility in Your Hips (File photo: MGN Online)

(KUTV) In order to run with proper and efficient running mechanics, strength and flexibility in the hips is vital. In working with runners of varying experience, goals, and abilities, Rebecca Winn, TOSH Running Program coordinator, has found that almost every runner can benefit from adding a few hip exercises into their routine. There are countless exercises or ways to work the hips. Winn highlights some of the best exercises for runners.

The exercises listed below are also easy to do from anywhere as they do not require any equipment to perform them, said Winn.

1. Hip Flexor Series: Our hip flexors are smaller muscles that are required to do a lot of work when we run. If these muscles are not trained for strength and endurance our running mechanics become sloppy and inefficient. The hip flexor series is a good way to strengthen them in exaggerated running motions for a somewhat prolonged time. This is also a good exercise for balance as it works the stabilizing leg as well. This exercises can be done for time or by counting repetitions.

2. Hip Abductor/Glute Series: Also, part of the hip muscles and key to running mechanics are the hip abductor muscles. In the butt burner series we work the abductors as well as the glute muscles. Adequate strength through these muscles reinforces linear movement patterns. It also eliminates a lot of wasted energy that may be used in excessive rotation through the hips. Linear movement patterns aid in decreasing our risk of some common running injuries as we strike the ground in more ideal positions for absorbing forces.

3. Single Leg Bridge: While running we want to use our glute and hamstring muscles as we push off the ground and propel forward. Getting the most out of this motion comes from adequate flexibility in the hips and through strength in our legs. While our main emphasis is on the hamstrings and glutes, this is also good for the core. This is also an ideal exercise for any level of runner as the level of difficulty is easy to modify depending on your individual abilities.

For more information, call the TOSH Running Program at (801) 314-4037.