Your posterior muscles, the hamstrings, glutes, and the hips, contribute to hip extension and knee flexion and generate power when you run.  After a lengthy period of sitting at your desk, you finally stand up, get your favorite running clothes on, and go for your 10 mile run.  Your posterior muscles, mostly the hamstrings and the glutes, have been resting and either take their time getting involved with your run, or simply do not fire up at all.  This leaves your quadriceps and hip flexors, which are usually stronger than your hamstrings anyway, to do all of the work. Eventually the anterior leg becomes stronger while the posterior leg muscles become weaker in comparison.  After time, a possible muscular imbalance could occur, where too much quadricep strength on the front of the thigh and too little hamstring strength on the back, leads to muscle strains and even tears.  While the hamstrings are vitally important because they work to extend the hip joint and flex the knee, runners can suffer from injuries or limit mobility to these joints as well.
 
There are many ways to avoid this offset to our running: Warm up thoroughly before every run.  Shorten our running stride.  Try to run on a soft dirt or grass surface at least a few times a week.  Wear well-cushioned, supportive running shoes.  Learn to stretch properly.  Find a qualified personal trainer to assist you in finding appropriate posterior leg exercises.  Not only have all of these assisted me with my running since I was 14 years of age running cross-country for my Junior High School, I have actually never been injured or even had a single knee/joint issue that has taken away from my running.  Yes, I am knocking on wood right now (lololo).  Hamstrings are almost always weaker than quadriceps, but by strengthening them you will get better muscular balance.  Also, work to strengthen your core muscles (abdominals, glutes and adductors).  These muscles act as stabilizers for your pelvis.  Even if your running program is so long that it limits your time in the gym for other activities, get in that there at least 1 day a week to perform some exercises that really serve to strengthen and lengthen those pesky posterior muscles.
 
I mostly contribute this blessing of defeating any running injury so far, to the fact that I have consistently cross trained.  Besides strengthening my body through weight bearing activities, I also cross train through indoor cycling.  Yes, cycling is gentler on the joints and does assist with improving overall hamstring strength.  When your instructor tells you to increase the resistance until the heel drops on the push, and to pick up that heel and squeeze your hamstring with the pull back, listen to them. 
 
The CoreRippic with a side of Hams playlist was designed for an indoor cycling class that will not only wake up those resting posterior muscles, but also strengthen the entire core, thus improving your long distance running technique.  The overall 1 hour class will also leave that metabolism going for hours afterwards with the high intensity intervals that come from combining these large muscles (hamstrings, glutes, abdominals) into an intense energized cardiovascular class.

 





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