Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Five Important Lower-Body Exercises for Runners

When you think of lower-body exercises, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are the top-of-mind muscle groups to work, right? Well, yes and no. Each of these muscle groups are important and depending on the runner one group may need to be worked more than another. But, there's an entirely different group of muscles that often get overlooked by most runners. These muscles (abductors and adductors) are found laterally on the outside and inside of the legs. There is not one abductor and one adductor muscle, rather they are a collection of different muscles that work to pull the legs away from or toward the body or to create internal or external rotation of the leg. They also work to provide stability and balance in the lower body. The glute medius muscle is a hip-abductor muscle that provides stability in the whole pelvic region when walking and running. It's when this muscle is tight or weak that often results in runners knee. Adductors running down the inside of the leg help provide stability as well as help with acceleration when running. Adductors are the only muslces in the lower-body that are continuously firing throughout the entire running stride cycle. Keeping these muscle groups well conditioned will not only help make you a more efficient runner, it will help decrease the chance of  injury and falling. The video below shows five simple exercises that are very effective in working your abductor and adductor muscles. Check it out!

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