Hip and core exercise programme prevents running-related overuse injuries in adult novice recreational runners: a three-arm randomised controlled trial (Run RCT)

Review written by Dr Travis Pollen info

Key Points

  1. Two distinct exercise paradigms have been proposed for reducing the risk of running injuries: a “top-down” approach targeting the hip and core and a “bottom-up” approach targeting the ankle and foot.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Running offers numerous health benefits but also poses a relatively high risk of lower extremity (LE) injuries, especially for novices. These injuries can result in long interruptions in training or cessation of running altogether. Therefore, effective exercise programs for reducing running injury risk are needed.

To address this need, two contrasting exercise paradigms have been proposed:

  1. A “top-down” approach, focusing on hip and core strength and control

  2. A “bottom-up” approach, focusing on ankle and foot strength and control

Previous studies of the effects of these types of exercise programs have yielded conflicting results (1-3). This randomized controlled trial aimed to determine the efficacy of both the top-down and bottom-up approaches for reducing LE injuries in adult novice recreational runners.

Running offers numerous health benefits but also poses a relatively high risk of lower extremity injuries, especially for novices.
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A 20–35-minute hip and core program using a chair, resistance bands and a towel significantly reduced the incidence of running-related lower limb injuries compared to static stretching.

METHODS

A total of 325 novice recreational runners (75% female, 25% male; age = 40 ± 9 years old; body mass index = 25 ± 4; running experience = 9 ± 8 months) were randomized to three approximately equal groups:

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