Back in February, we invited one of our pelvic floor physical therapists, Dr. Tonya Yanok, to share pelvic stability exercises for avoiding slips and falls during the winter months.
Now that it's summer and everyone is spending more time outside, we asked Dr. Yanok to join us again to discuss pelvic stability exercises for runners, especially what people can do to keep their pelvis—and even their whole body—happy on the open road and trails.
Reminder: Before embarking on any new exercise regimen, check with your doctor. The information in this article is intended to be educational only. Always consult a physician regarding your specific medical situation.
1. Check your posture with this wall drill.
When you run, you want to make sure you’re not hunched over. Do this "wall drill" to keep yourself in check.
- Find a wall and stand up against it.
- Make sure your buttocks, the backs of your shoulders, the backs of your hands, and the back of your head are against the wall.
- Pay attention to the way this posture feels and try to keep it as you go about your day, especially whenever you run.
This should be your basic posture when you run—while running, you'll simply lean forward a little, leading with the chest and hinging at the ankle.
Check out the video we did of The Wall Drill on the Pelvic Health Ladies Instagram page. (Note: You'll need to swipe to see the video!)
2. Shh! Run quiet!
A lot of people don't shock absorb when they run. Bottom line: If someone can hear you coming as you're jogging, you’re probably putting a lot of force on your joints.
The simple trick to reducing force on your joints is to try to run as quietly as you can. You'll naturally bend and absorb force while using more muscles, which is ideal for running.
3. Do star planks.
Remember, the best runners exercise beyond simply running. One of my favorite exercises to help runners prevent all those pesky ailments to the back, hips, knees, and ankles is the star plank.
The star plank will help you build a stronger core and oblique muscles as well as stronger arms, back, and hips.
- You'll essentially start in a full side plank up on your hand, but you'll then move your upper hand and leg in the air. From the side, you'll look like an X or—as the name suggests—a star. You can hold this position or do side leg lifts by repeating the leg lifting from feet stacked to the leg raised into the star position.
- You'll keep your core tight as you hold yourself up off the ground using your hands and toes.
If you can’t do this advanced move, start with a modified side plank on your forearm.
- Start in a side plank position with your legs long and feet stacked.
- Prop yourself up on the forearm closest to the ground.
- Lift up your top arm and leg, squeeze in your abs, and hold.
- Repeat on the other side.
Need help mastering these pelvic floor stability exercises for runners—or learning others?
Get a program designed for your specific health needs. Make an appointment with one of our pelvic floor physical therapists.