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Why Do I Kick Myself When I Run?

Have you ever come home for a run and wonder why the inner portion of your calf is dirty? Or perhaps had scrapes on your legs from your shoe? These things are perhaps to be expected on a trail run, but certainly not a jaunt around the neighborhood.

So why does this happen? Why do we kick ourselves as runners? (you know, physically kicking ourselves, not kicking ourselves because of our poorly timed afternoon snack, starting too hot in a race, or steady stream of coffee instead of water)

The answer is a familiar one to us runners: glute weakness. Other factors can be at play, but this issue is rooted in the booty.

We kick ourselves when the stance leg lands too far toward the midline, causing the leg that is in swing phase to catch it as it passes by. As we can see from the picture below, this pattern also comes with the classic “hip drop” as well (Read more about hip drop at the link). We affectionately call this in the PT world “cross over gait”.