This week’s superstar is Amber. She has had lateral left hip pain off and on recently. No injuries, just progressive onset during the winter. Maybe we can blame it on the weather or lousy roads. Either way, this is what she looks like running at a normal speed.
And this is what she looks like running at a faster/tempo pace.
From behind in both videos, her left hip doesn’t appear to load as efficiently as the right. During walking or running, there should be a loading phase during which the glutes lengthen to accept the body weight, which then allows the glutes to have more power potential for push-off. Initially, her left hip seems to avoid the loading, which is where her pain is coming from.
From the side, we see limited knee drive as well as high arm swing. Both of these are often found with weakness in the lower abs, as her upper body will attempt to compensate by pulling the hips into flexion.
So we need to get her hip loading more efficiently and get her lower abs fired up. Firstly, a stretch for the glutes. We also did manual treatments for gaining hip flexibility, but this is what she will be working on at home.
We also did a lower ab dynamic strengthening exercise using an exercise ball. I think she really enjoyed this one!
After gaining flexibility in the hip and firing up her abs, this is what her running looked like.
Notice more symmetry and efficiency with loading of the hips from behind. Notice also the improved knee drive and more relaxed arm swing in the video from the side. Again, when muscles are loaded properly, they are able to work more efficiently. With Amber, consistent attention to hip flexibility and lower ab strength will help keep her running faster and faster. Great job Amber!