I saw Bob Cranny over at Altitude Physical Therapy last week regarding my sore right IT Band and achy left knee. He pushed, pulled, prodded and pronounced me fit; there’s nothing structurally wrong. That being said, the culprits of the pain are weak gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and iliosoas tendons.
He was more concerned about the IT Band than the other knee, as the knee issue seemed to be a secondary symptom that was triggered when the right leg and IT Band got tired. The stronger hip and quad on the left side compensated for the weaker right side by firing more, which tightened the tendons around the right knee and led to the pain that caused me to stop running last week.
Runners are notorious for weak hips and glutes, which make IT Band issues and knee pain so common. Bob gave me a series of five exercises to do on a daily basis to strengthen the muscles. I can strengthen the muscles and get back into Marathon Training without losing much time or speed.
Here are the exercises he prescribed, along with a description. Seeing as how I’m not the only one to have weak hips and glutes, I thought I’d share the knowledge. I do these daily now, and after only a week I can tell a difference in my right hip. Also, all IT Band pain is gone!
Butt Crunches: Do 2×15 each leg.
Side leg lifts: Do 2×10 each leg.
Clams: Do 2×15 each leg
Fire Hydrants: Do 2×15 each side
Bill Special: My husband Bill lives for this exercise! Do 2×15 each side
Lay down on your stomach. Have your partner place his/her RIGHT hand on your left hip. Bend your RIGHT knee to 90°. Have your partner put his/her LEFT hand on your foot and provide resistance.
Draw the right foot across to the left side of your body with controlled motion, then back to starting position. Do 2×15 each side.
Doing these exercises daily will really improve the strength of the glutes, which is where runners get the majority of their strength and power. I’ve been doing these daily for a week and can feel a difference already. Thanks, Bob!