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Running and Hip flexors

I'd like to think I have good running form. However, I'm having probs with my hip flexors. Basically, after a while, or at higher speeds, they start to tighten up and hurt near my lower back.

I know it is my hip flexors, because I had a problem with them when I did boot camp this summer. They'd tightened up so much they were pulling my spine out of alignment.

So can any runners out there suggest what I might be doing wrong? I'm stretching them out before and after running, but they're still not happy with me...

Sun. Jan 20, 10:15pm

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Your hip flexors will get strained if your glutes are not engaging enough to stabilize you on leg extension or tightening enough on leg flexion. They will also get too strained if your abs are not duly engaged while you're running, so even if you're using good form now, try to be sure your hips are not "spilling forward" as you run, particularly as you're picking up speed and/or getting tired.
So make sure the trunk of your body is underneath your shoulders and try working on your glutes when you're doing strength training. I have problems with my hip flexors too. If they get too tight they affect your lower back and possibly, your knees. (At least, that's the case with me!)
I also do gentle yoga to get those muscles open too. I hope all these suggestions help!

Sunday, January 20, 2008, 10:24 PM

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op again... can you elaborate on the hips spilling forward? as in "in front of shoulders"? I really do try to ensure shoulders are back and down, hips are below shoulder and abs are pulled in- that's part of why the pain is frustrating. (Also knees in alignment with hips, and ankles aligned with knees)
Am I suppose to keep my butt tucked too? Luckily however, I've never had it affect my knees...

Monday, January 21, 2008, 2:12 AM

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I meant "hips spilling forward" as in your abs being disengaged and your back being flexed-- kind of like if you were standing you'd be lifting your butt slightly. Sometimes this happens ever so slightly without you realizing it. Get massages, ask them to work out the fascia around your hip flexors- specifically your IT band. As them to massage your glutes. Get a pro though, so they know what you're talking about. Then work on the strength training I mentioned. Your glutes and abs have to be so on point if you're going to run often, especially if you're going to do distance. Pilates could help with this overall too (strengthening). Good luck!

Monday, January 21, 2008, 9:15 PM

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me again, you don't need to "tuck" your butt but trying to squeeze the muscles may not hurt. Sounds tough to do while running but gets easier. Try doing this when you're just standing to see if you can get the hang of it.
:) CJ

Monday, January 21, 2008, 9:17 PM

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CJ- if you want to check out T-tapp ( it's pretty much what I do besides running- and it's all about strengthening your core/abs, and linear alignement :) I'm just gettin back into it, so perhaps that's why they are causing me such probs. (And I wasn't able to do the program while running in bootcamp, so that might partially explain why I had probs at camp, but never at home...)

Thanks for your help, I suppose more cross training is necessary. :)

Monday, January 21, 2008, 9:26 PM

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