Wondering what all the glute hype is about? Why does Physical Therapy nearly always involve hip strengthening, especially targeting the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles?

The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport explains why in a systematic review. In a systematic review, researchers combine several similar studies in order to get one clear answer to a question. Author Matthew Mucha and his team examined the influence of hip abductor weakness on lower extremity injuries in runners, specifically long distance runners. The largest hip abductor muscles are the glutes, both medius and maximus.

They found that weak glute muscles are associated to some degree with the most common running injuries; Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Tibial Stress Syndromes and fractures, and Achilles tendinopathies were all found to be correlated with weak hips.

Strong hips are crucial for posture, alignment, stability, endurance, and power in running! Previous studies have outlined the most efficient exercises for targeting weak glutes. They include step-ups, bridges, clamshells, squats, and deadlifts; all things we do in PT!

Whether you’re recovering from an injury or in the prevention phase, training your glutes is essential in keeping you at top form!

Mucha MD, Caldwell W, Schlueter EL, Walters C, Hassen A. Hip abductor strength and lower extremity running related injury in distance runners: A systematic review. J Sci Med Sport 2016. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2016.09.002.

 

Garrett Kale, SPT