It’s one week into my training and my hips are feeling relatively good. Granted, I haven’t really started any speed work or hill running but, still – I’m glad they are holding up.
One of my “smart goals” was to add in routine, twice a week cross training/lifting. Over the next four weeks, the focus will be more on lifting to add base strength and condition my body for the later phases of training. Below are some different hip-strengthening options I’ve run into.
For getting your hips strong using…:
- No equipment
A series of nice workouts to add some strength and mobility to your hips. I like to add these in after I run as well as when I am bored in my office. One HUGE thing they left off the list was walking lunges – fantastic leg/hip that ever runner should do a couple times a week, post-run.
- Resistance bands
Using those giant rubber bands is new to me. I love them. I’ve added a couple band exercises at the end of my lifting workouts (side stepping and step-ups). The bands are nice because they add variable resistance (increasing the difficulty the greater your range of motion is). They are also super light weight and compact so these would be a good option if you wanted to do hip (or other) exercises while traveling (or in your office at work).
- TRX Straps
Ah…I love these exercises. I set up a pair of TRX straps in my backyard and love going back there for a quick suspension workout. These are the best for working on body-weight strength, flexibility and balance. I recently found this routine and it really helped expose some serious imbalances in my hips and problems with my balance. My hope is that adding this into my routine will help even things out and improve the consistency of my footfall.
I started doing the 5×5 lifting program while training for the last 15-k. I loved it but seriously over did it. If you use the 5×5 app, the encouragement is always going up in weight, always pushing the limits, always getting bigger. That really spoke to an older version of me – when I used to play football and put a lot of worth into strength and size. In training, all it did was lead to a serious case of dead legs and sore upper body. It honestly scared me off from lifting while training for a race. I’m willing to give it another shot by changing up the routine and making sure my focus is on (1) good form, (2) full range of motion and (3) slow, steady movements.
For getting your hips nice and loose:
This is a pretty detailed overview of how your hip works, where the problems may start and how to stretch properly. This guide should be all you need!
Oh, I was wrong? I let you down and you need more? Run to the finish has a nice series of stretches to do in the morning, after you run, or any time you feel tight in the hips.
These stretches come from a Canadian site so I can only hope that Justin Trudeau was a silent co-author.