LOS ANGELES, Sept 18 — It’s an all too common problem for female runners: knee pain. While prior research has pointed to an array of anatomical issues as being to blame, a new study points to weak glutes as a culprit. Here’s how to remedy the problem.
Many factors can contribute to faulty glutes, experts say — your office job may be one. Sitting all day at a desk can tighten and shorten hip flexors, which can prevent your glutes from working properly, all while forcing your hamstrings and lower back to pick up the slack. Ongoing compensation can lead to knee injuries, such as patellofemoral syndrome, pulled hamstrings, and lower back pain.
Work your glutes
Before performing glute exercises, be sure to stretch the hip flexors, or try using a foam roller for a deep stretch. Another essential tip while performing glute exercises: focus on your glutes, and be sure your hamstrings aren’t doing most of the work. Suite101.com offers three exercises to get the job done:
Donkey kicks: Lie prone over a stability ball with both feet on the floor. Keeping your abdominals tight, extend one leg at a time, tighten your glutes and hold for five seconds. Do three sets of 12 on each side.
Clamshells: Wrap a resistance band around your thighs. Lie on your side, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and hips flexed at 30 degrees. Keep your feet together and your entire body stable, raise your top knee in an abduction motion. Do three sets of 12 on each side.
Supine bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent, pressing your heels into the floor. Raise your butt off the floor, squeeze your glutes and hold for 10 seconds. Do three sets of 12. For extra challenge, try lifting one leg at a time.
Learn more about runner’s knee: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/runners-knee — AFP/Relaxnews