If you experience pain in your knees, foot or ankle, your hips could be the culprit. If the hip cannot be stabilized during a run, the lower body is apparently not getting sufficient support. The following are the best hip exercises for runners.

Hip Strengthening

According to a 2013 medical study, researchers analyzed how the three muscles – gluteus medius, gluteus maximus and tensor facia lata – help with hip-strengthening exercises. These muscles are instrumental in abducting the hips and its external and internal rotation. The right exercises enhance the gluteus medius and maximus’ involvement, but restrict tensor fascia lata contribution, which appends to the knee’s side. With a stiff tensor fascia lata, you may experience excessive pressure on the knee and injury. As per the findings of the study, clamshells, single-leg bridges, and side stepping with elastic resistance are ideal exercises for hip-strengthening.

Clamshell

To perform this exercise, bend your knee at 45 degrees and lie sideway. Stack your legs, with heels positioned together. Position an elastic looped band around the thighs, quite a few inches above the knees. The band must provide sufficient resistance when opening the legs. Raise your upper knee towards the ceiling, with connected feet and a still pelvis. The movement must imitate a clamshell opening. Stay still with the peak pose for some time and then revert to the original position.

Elastic Band Exercise

Elastic band training routines work on your hip flexors, rotators and abductors – lending muscle strength to the hip and making it less vulnerable to injuries. To work external rotators, affix the band to a bench’s left leg. Have the band’s other end anchored to your right leg. Sit upright on the workbench with knees bent and legs together. Stretch the right lower leg to its side for a couple of seconds and return to the original position. Maintain some distance from the anchor point. Use a wall or chair back for support. Now, raise forward the right leg and revert to the original position.

Carry out multiple repetitions of the aforementioned exercises and ensure both sides are worked up.

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