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Improving Running Efficiency: Hip Extension (Part 1)

Are you looking to be a more efficient runner and decrease risk for injury? Addressing hip extension may help! Of course, there are many nuances of running form that can affect running efficiency and risk for injury, however, one of the most common running form deviations that I see in the clinic is a lack of hip extension. This can lead to a plethora of injuries at the low back, hip, knee, and even into the foot and ankle!

What is hip extension?

Hip extension is when the femur (thigh bone) is behind our body or when our leg passes behind our center of gravity when we are running or walking. This motion is performed primarily by our gluteus maximus and hamstring muscle, but we also get some help from the adductor magnus muscle to achieve this motion.

Now that we know what hip extension is, let's look at how we use it during running: