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Strengthen Hips and Outer Quad to Reduce Running Pain

Posted Dec 20 2008 7:19pm

Many people who are new to running or have taken a long time off experience hip and knee pain when starting up.  There is a good chance it is because the hip and outer quad muscles have become weaker than the inner quad muscle.  Two simple exercises done three times a week can rebalance your legs and improve your form.  And they don’t require any weights or a gym membership.

1. Lateral leg raises.  These can be done sitting or standing.  If standing, you don’t need to bring your leg all the way up so it is parallel to the ground.  A little past halfway will work.  Alternate ten each leg until you feel a good burn.

2. Lateral lunges.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Take a big step to one side and squat down.  You should feel the strain on your outer thigh.  Then bring your foot back to the starting position.  You can do ten in a row on each leg or alternate legs.

If you do belong to a gym, you can make this little workout even more challenging.  For the lateral leg raises, try putting ankle weights on.  And instead of lateral lunges, put an elastic band around your ankles and shuffle back and forth about 10 steps.  Do a couple sets of each exercise to get a full workout.  Having the right strength proportion in your legs and hips will have you running farther and pain free.

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