The United States of Running

A Physical Therapist Says Strengthening This Muscle Group Will Help Prevent Running-Related Knee Pain

Allie Flinn

Strength training is key for stability, and stability is key for, well, pretty much every activity—particularly in terms of helping with proper form and reducing the risk of injury. If you're a runner, there's one area in particular you're probably concerned about injuring: your knees. Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries for runners, and can occur for a variety of reasons, one being that when you are fatigued during a run, your muscles are less able to support your knees, so your knees end up taking more impact. That's why strength training is important for runners, especially when it comes to your core. "What I often say to my students and my clients and patients is that your core is a three-dimensional structure. We often forget that that also includes the glutes," says Laurence Agenor, PT, DPT, a Pilates and barre instructor.

Strengthening your glutes stabilizes your hips, and helps to improve your coordination and to train your muscles to work in the right way with the right posture. "For an activity like running, you really want your hip stabilizers to be strong in order to avoid any sort of injuries to the knee or any sort of unnecessary, painful sprains," Agenor says. That's why the spotlight is on your butt in this episode of Trainer of the Month Club.

The 20-minute workout begins with dynamic stretching, then goes into a series of pilates moves that target the glutes. In addition to strengthening your glutes as a team, Agenor adds that it's also important to work on "unilateral strength." Meaning, you want to have strength through each glute on its own. "That's important for propulsion while you're running," she says.

Press play and get ready for your glutes to burn.

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