In 2020 alone, there was a 65% increase in running and jogging activities leading to more than 50 million Americans participating in running or jogging activities. A lot of focus with running is focused on aerobic conditioning. However, strengthening is just as crucial especially to prevent injury as weak muscles can lead to poor running mechanics. Some of the most commonly missed muscles are hip abductors and the core muscles.
Two tests of a functional strength assessment for return to run is a side-plank and holding a single leg bridge.
- You should be able to hold a full side-plank for 1 minute without dropping your hips and avoiding rotating at the shoulder or hips.
- You should be able to hold a single leg bridge for 30 seconds keeping hips neutral and avoiding twisting.
Difficulty with either of these two tests is a sign that additional core and glute exercises should be added to your strengthening routine for injury prevention.
If you have any additional questions about whether your training plan is complete or whether you are functional strong enough to run, you can always follow up with a PT for a full functional running assessment!