My hips/hip flexors have been a problem since I first started marathon training. They always hurt during long runs, which is why I was so mad when Dad forgot the Ibuprofen at the Portland Marathon. I often experience pain on the right side of my hip when driving home after a long run. My car is ghetto and doesn’t have cruise control, so my right hip flexor is strained as my right foot pushes on the pedals. I never thought it was a big deal – just a part of long distance running.
My hips have hurt for a long time. They pop and make weird noises (I blame that on gymnastics). They’re a big reason I think yoga is so important, because almost every pose stretches this very tight area. Until last night, I’ve only thought about stretching my hip flexors. I never once considered STRENGTHENING these muscles. But last night’s six mile tempo run made me realize that I have weak old granny hips. And I must do something about it if I want to reach my full potential. I won’t get the hips I want if I just keep ignoring the problem.
I’m not so good at anatomy, so here’s a section of the Lance Armstrong article:
Function of Hip Flexors:
Hip flexion occurs when the thigh and torso come together, either by lifting the thigh toward the torso, as in a knee lift or straight leg raise, or by lifting the torso toward the thigh, as in a full sit-up. They also move the hip forward when running or walking, and are under a great deal of stress while sprinting and kicking. Developing strong hip flexors will make your daily chores easier and provide an advantage in sports and athletics.
Hmm…hip flexors sound pretty important for long distance running, right?
I researched some exercises I could do at home and found this article on Runner’s World. The article shows three exercises using resistance bands. We already have resistance bands set up in our closet from John’s shoulder surgery, so it will be convenient. Also, I’m now back on morning yoga, which is amazing for strengthening and stretching my hip flexors.
I hope this helps strengthen my granny hips! Happy Friday!