Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

We all know we could work more on our glutes. But who actually commits to it? While I know its importance, I’ve easily lost motivation in my attempts at prehab for many self-proclaimed ‘good’ reasons – change in schedule, fatigue, sickness, or no longer being injured! A physio-runner-friend of mine even setup a three-week challenge, complete with filmed exercises posted on Facebook to make it convenient for her and her peers to stay on track. I think 90% of us failed to do the exercises every day.

I thought to myself – what is this going to take to make it stick for me? Group exercise. The power of the group is unequivocal. Think back to time when you belonged to a team and how much you enjoyed practicing with them. Summertime presents an excellent excuse for your new workplace prehab team to meet for 15-minutes and perform your prescribed exercises.

So, why prehab? Sitting at a desk all day presents a situation where our glutes lengthen and our hip flexors shorten. Consequently, our glutes don’t work as well to stabilize our pelvis, which could lead to injury for many. I believe we can counteract some of these effects by taking frequent walking breaks and scheduling a mid-day run. While this isn’t possible for everyone/everyday, what could work for some is to form a workplace group of runners (or walkers) to take a midday break to ‘get up and glute!’

Here’s how to proceed:  Each person can take a turn getting the week’s routine ready. Scour running magazines and physiotherapy websites for ideas and cues for proper form (see some links to resources below).

Runner’s World, Running Times, Women’s Running, etc. all have a plethora of resources available. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just get up and do something for your glutes!

Remember, it’s not enough to simply do the strength and mobility work – you still need to practice good form to make true changes to your running mechanics.

Nikki Reiter is a Biomechanist and certified NCCP Performance Coach in Endurance Running.