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October 14, 2015 2 min read

Most runners spend a significant amount of time worrying about injury. And with good reason, it isn't exactly a low impact workout. So, many runners spend a little extra time strength training and stretching to keep their bottom half in peak form. But, that may not be enough. There may be one muscle group being commonly overlooked: your hip abductors. Weak hip abductors are linked with hip tendonitis. Australian researchers looked at the hip strength of people with hip tendonitis, which is inflammation in the tendons that connect your gluteal muscle to your hip bone. When compared to their injury free counterparts, they were found to have weak hip abductors.   This study was simply observational and so researchers aren't entirely sure how the hip abductors cause inflammation and pain. But they have theories. If your muscles are weak, it’s likely that the deep fibers of the gluteal tendons can’t withstand the compression and pressure load that comes with every stride and muscle contraction. This can lead the tendons to break down with time, causing pain and if not treated, injury. “Weakness in your glutes can cause different running injuries such as IT band syndrome, or knee pain like patellofemoral syndrome and patellar tendonitis (runner’s knee),” says New York-based physical therapist and medical coordinator for Major League Soccer John Gallucci, Jr. A study in Sports Medicine found that inflammation in the gluteal muscles is more common in woman than men. But if running works so much of your lower body, you'd think it would work on your hips and glutes! But that simply isn't the case. “Running is pretty much a straight ahead movement and your gluteal muscles control side-to-side movements (as well as posture),” says study author Bill Vicenzino, Ph.D., director of Sports Injuries Rehabilitation and Prevention for Health at the University of Queensland.   But don't hang up your runners just yet, there is good news. If you work on strengthening your hips and glutes, you can reduce pain and prevent inflammation. Try these three exercises to strengthen your hip abductors. 1. Clamshells: Lie on right side with knees bent and stacked, heels in line with glutes. Keeping hips facing forward and heels together, lift left knee as high as possible, engaging core and glutes the entire time. Lower to start position. Repeat on the other side. 2. Lying Hip Abduction: Lie on right side, both legs outstretched. Raise right leg straight up in the air, forming “V” with legs. Lower to start position. Repeat on the other side. 3. Heel Bridge: Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flexed so that just heels remain on the ground, arms down by sides. Engage abs and lift hips off the floor. Slowly lower tailbone to the floor and lightly tap down before lifting back up into bridge. For over 66 hours of workouts that will build strength in these areas and everywhere else, check out Sweatflix℠! It is here that you will find access to all your favorite workouts any time you want them! With new and exclusive content added regularly, you'll never be bored! Are you already doing these exercises? Does it make a difference in the amount of pain you experience? Source: Shape  

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