We have had a wonderful week of 60 degree and sunny days before another round of cold and snowy conditions (that round may last for the next 6 months so settle in…)! The nice weather has been really great as we have been cleaning up outside and finishing some long-overdue projects!
I held off on writing this little introductory segment all week thinking we’d know something about the election, but as of Saturday morning, there is no definitive answer! What an appropriate election for such a wild year! *Sunday morning update: We know the answer!
Ellie’s parents and three extra dogs are visiting this weekend! We have a foster and a last minute, very pregnant mom dog in our back room! I’m thinking we may have another 5’ish’ very small dogs at some point this weekend totalling our pack numbers out around 15?! I think that’ll be a record for the house, so stay tuned…*Sunday morning update: There are 7 new puppies born last night, so I think we’re at 16 instead!
The past few weeks have been dedicated to strengthening and mobility of different muscle groupings to stay healthy through the running seasons! Today will be the last ‘installment’ of this series as we tackle the hips and glutes!
I believe I mentioned this before, but it seems that every recovery plan prescribed by a PT has a good deal of glute strengthening and hip stability work regardless of the injury. You have achilles tendon issues...glute strengthening. The top of your knee hurts...glute strengthening. It seems a little unlikely that weak glutes are to blame for every running injury, but having weak glutes certainly doesn’t help running!
I have seen some theories that blame weak glutes on long days of sitting in front of a computer or sitting in general. Apparently using a muscle for ‘padding’ isn’t the same thing as keeping it active (who would have thought…?)! As we lose strength and awareness of those big, posterior muscle-bodies, we rely more and more on quads/calves/etc… for running and this is the reason that strengthening the glutes is the low-hanging fruit of the running rehab world.
The days that I do some band work at the trailhead tend to lead to my best feeling and fastest moving runs. Just doing something small that brings awareness to those powerful muscles goes a long way and anecdotally makes a huge difference! Below are some fun ideas!
The Myrtl routine is a really awesome banded routine that is my go to! I’ll include a few extra exercises below, but this routine is my favorite and pretty easy to incorporate into the daily schedule!
Banded Monster Walks:
With a resistance band around the ankles, take large and diagonal steps backwards (10 on each leg) really focusing on engaging the glutes! Bend the legs while maintaining a straight upper body!
Banded Hip Adduction:
Anchor a band and wrap the other end around your ankle. ‘Pull’ the band towards your midline using your hip adductors. Pictures will help! 10 on each leg to start.
Banded Hip Abduction:
With a band wrapped around your ankles, support yourself with one leg and move your other away from your midline using your hip abductors! Pictures will help! 10 on each leg to start.
The piriformis is a muscle in the glutes and hips that regularly gets tight for a lot of runners. It’s a hard to reach spot, but sitting with one leg over the other to open up that posterior glute region makes it accessible (describing these things is much more difficult than just taking a picture).
This works best with a small ball and roll directly on the side of your hip underneath the pelvis. Find a tight spot and sit on it for a few seconds before moving on to the front of you hip. Bending your leg helps to open up that hip!
Banded Pigeon Stretch:
With an anchored band or some sort (this needs to be a larger loop), place the unanchored end of the band around your hip flexor and move into the pigeon stretch that we went through last week. The band provides a counter force that can pull you deeper into the stretch.
Barbell Adductor ‘Smash’:
This is the best way that I have found to roll out the inner thigh and hip adductors. While sitting on the ground, lift one end of a barbell and set it on the inner thigh and press it down to provide added ‘smashing’! Straighten and bend that leg to work the muscle fibers over the bar!
Banded Deep Hip Lunge:
With an anchored band, place the unanchored end of the band around your hip flexor and hold a deep lunge with both your foot and your knee planted on the ground (place the band around the leg with the knee planted). Hold pose as hips loosen and ‘squeeze’ the glutes to engage in the stretch!
Jeni B. CRUSHED the Auckland Marathon this past weekend, running a 6 minute PR! Jeni has had a tremendously consistent running year and is currently rocking a nice run-streak! Even without any really long training efforts leading into this marathon, the annual consistency paid off!!!