GYM: Hip Bridge/Swiss Ball Hip Bridge
Hip Bridge/Swiss Ball Hip Bridge
For the Hip Bridge, start in a supine position with your feet together and your knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor. Press into your heels bringing your hips toward the ceiling, trying get as fully extended as you can at your hips.
Hold for a slow count of three, and release until your hips almost touch the floor, then repeat. You may get an additional stretch by pressing your hips to the ceiling with your hand under your hips.
For the Swiss Ball Hip Bridge, start in a supine position with your knees flexed and the bottoms of your feet resting on a Swiss Ball. Raise your hips slightly off the floor and contract your gluteal muscles working for full extension through your hips.
Return to the starting position without your hips touching the floor. The addition of the Swiss ball requires rotational stability.
Complete 2 rounds of 12 of each exercise holding at the fully contracted position for a count of 3. You can increase the difficulty by placing a weight on your hips. Be sure to hold onto the weight so it does not roll down your body and cause injury.
These exercises are crucial for effective and powerful running and injury prevention.
Normally, squats and deadlifts are the foundation for glute strengthening. The drawback of these is that they maximize force in the mid-range of hip extension and the force requirement for running is at the fully extended range.
Not strengthening the glutes through full extension can put an additional load on the hamstrings to move the body quickly forward and thereby increase the likelihood of a hamstring injury.