The Most Important Muscle When It Comes To Preventing Running Injuries

The Gluteus Medius (Glute Med) may very well be the most important muscle when it comes to preventing running injuries.  This small muscle, located at the top and outer part of the buttocks is crucial to pelvic stability.  In the image below, you can see the location of this muscle.

prevent-running-injuryWhen you are running this muscle is supposed to keep your pelvis level.  However, if you have weak glute med muscles, when you stride onto your right foot, your left hip may dip below your right hip and vice versa, which is known as Trendelenburg Gait (imagine a model walking down a runway).  Even in runners who have just a slight weakness and instability, this can cause serious strain from your hips to your ankles over the many thousands of foot strikes you make while running.

This instability has been shown to cause a number of injuries such as IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral syndrome (runner’s knee), and Achilles tendinitis.

There are a number of simple exercises you can do to address this weakness.  In our next blog entry we will detail our favorite ones with video instructions.  This is one instance where sweating the small stuff (as in small muscles) makes all the difference in the world.

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