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F.I.T. Tips: Stabilize Your Hips

With Gavin Buehler

Running season is underway, but after a winter hiatus many of the muscles that help stabilize your joints might be deconditioned if you haven’t been training through the off season. When running, each step can produce an impact force anywhere between 3-6 times your bodyweight! That force is driven through one leg and can be repeated thousands of times throughout a run. Proper strengthening of your feet, ankles, hips and core are crucial to ensure the safest and most efficient direction that energy takes as it travels through your body.

For this F.I.T. Tip I’m going to provide one of my favorite exercises for the gluteus minimis and gluteus medius muscles. These two muscles play an important role in hip stabilization during any single-leg weight bearing activities such as walking or running. As an aside, dysfunction with these muscles can often produce and be mistaken for sciatica like symptoms. Keeping them healthy can save you a lot of grief.

I like this exercise because it’s simple, quick, and highly effective if performed properly. It can be used to prime these muscles before a run or workout, or it can be used as a strengthening exercise within your main workout. Follow along to this video and you’ll get a burn that will have you cursing my name! Enjoy!

As always, this video is for educational purposes only. Please consult a health professional before attempting new exercises or protocols, as the following suggestions may or may not be appropriate for you.

Recommended Protocols:


1-2 sets, 15-20 reps per position per side.


2-3 sets, 15-20 reps per position per side. 2-3x/wk.

How to perform the O-Band Lateral Toe Tap

· The tempo is 1 second out, 1 second back.

· Place an appropriate tension O-Band around mid-feet. (Difficulty can be regressed by placing band around ankles or just above knees.)

· Stand in upright position feet hip width apart so band is slightly tensioned with head, shoulders, hips and ankles stacked over one another and spine in neutral position. Slightly bend knees so they are unlocked and slightly hinge at you hips.

· Suction cup supporting foot into the ground maintaining solid foot contact throughout, thinking of corkscrewing your foot into the ground and keeping your ankle centered over your foot and knee pointed the same direction as your foot.

· Lift one foot off the ground abducting to your side keeping it aligned with your hip.

· Keep the knee of the leg you are lifting facing forward, and drop your toes toward the ground so you lead the motion with your heel or ankle bone.

· Lift leg as high as you can fully straightening it without teetering your torso too far to the opposite side.

· Try to have the lift come from your hip joint and not a hike through your torso or a tilt.

· Hold position for specified time. Return to start and repeat.

· Maintain square shoulders and hips with neutral spine. Squeeze glutes of planted leg for stability and support.

· Keep upper body quiet with little to no movement throughout.

· Complete full set on weaker side first before switching.


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