Clench those Glutes!

Nothing like making you uncomfortable on a blog…

Remember that hip pain I kept having earlier this year?  It started after my December 31st run, after taking a few weeks off due to my highly inflamed plantar fasciitis.  My first run back triggered a weird right side hip pain, and I took time off and didn’t go away. 

I went to an orthopedist in VA, who had no answers except “stop running.”  So I scheduled an appointment for a second opinion.  The second doctor took an      x-ray that showed no issues and gave me a cortisone shot that didn’t do anything, except for give me hopes… 

I went back to running, despite the pain.  I started physical therapy, but saw no results…  I kept running, as the hip wasn’t getting worse, but it was constantly sore, even when walking. 

I took a bunch of time off running when I moved to Manila, sure that the time off would make things better, and that made no difference, once I went running, the hip was still hurting

I was recommended an orthopedist who quickly diagnosed me with weak core and hips, and sent me off for more physical therapy (which turned out to be $60 a pop, so I never went back – I can do planks on my own, thankyouverymuch).

But even doing weightlifting, working on my core, nothing improved my hip.

And then, one day back in September, Katie posted about her broken butt and her own issues…  (Definitely worth reading if you have hip issues!)  And though we didn’t have the exact same problems, there was enough similarities that it convinced me to at least try to “engage my glutes” during a run.  How does one engage their glutes?  Well, at least for me, I gotta clench my butt, then it actually makes it feel like it’s not just my legs carrying me on runs.

And from then on, I have been constantly aware of my butt and have clenched my glutes during runs, to make sure I’m engaging my hips with each step.  Always.

It has been 3 months since then, and I’m happy to say that since day ONE of doing that, I’m PAIN FREE!  No more weird hip pain triggered by runs!  No more wasted trips to doctors!  All I needed to do was engage my glutes with each step.  Soooo simple, no? 

So if you are also having weird hip pain, it might be something to consider. 

As for running, I got another 3 miles in this week, not an easy run, but not a bad run by any means.  I even pushed myself a bit in the last mile, getting what is probably my fastest run since arriving in Asia.


(How do I wish the treadmill gave me a mile by mile split, like the Garmin does…)


Filed under Injury, Treadmill Run

8 responses to “Clench those Glutes!

  1. Jessica

    This is super-timely, as my right hip is currently on fire after what should have been an easy 6 mile run this morning. I’ll give it a try after taking a couple days off to ice and heal – I’m supposed to do 11 miles this weekend!

    As my MMA instructor says “If *you* don’t squeeze your butt, nobody else will want to!”

    • Hahaha, I love that line! Seriously, try concentrating on your butt, and see how it works. It takes a while for it to become second nature (as soon as you start daydreaming, you stop…), but soon enough you’ll be doing it without even thinking about it!

  2. I had a problem with hip area pain for several months. Finances dictated self diagnosis. I narrowed it down to the gluteus medius and/or minimus being the trouble maker. I tried core work, stretching, icing, heating pads. Finally I realized that my running stride was too long and I made a conscious effort to shorten it focusing on the pushing myself along rather than pulling. I am now hip pain free!

  3. Amazing that butt clenching is what fixed it!

  4. Butt clenching for the win – so glad you are running pain-free!

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