Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Gluteus Medius

The gluteus medius muscle. Maybe one of most important muscles for running. Weakness in this muscle can lead to many injuries such as IT Band syndrome, knee pain, hip pain, and even back pain. Functional strength and endurance of this muscle is crucial to any athlete that spends much of the time running. The muscle is hidden underneath the big gluteus maximus (buttock muscle) and the fascia/fibers of the ITBand and Tensor Fascia Lata. This muscle is the muscle that keeps your hip stable while your foot is flat on the ground whether you are running or just standing on one leg. A weak glute med will allow your hip to drop too much leading to changes in your mechanics all the way down to your foot and up through your spine. A person might have a strong glute med muscle during muscle testing or even standing on one foot for 30 seconds, but the question is whether that muscle has the endurance to last for miles. And can that muscle perform the same when positions are changed such as when kicking a soccer ball or moving laterally to make a tackle? Both males and females are at risk for this weakness, however, the biomechanics of a female pelvis make them much more suceptible (wider pelvis) to weakness. A good video analysis of running can identify weakness as well as specific functional tests. In future posts we will have pics and videos to demonstrate these self-tests and strength training for this important muscle.

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