BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Running kinematics (movement patterns) and kinetics (forces involved) and muscle strength have often been discussed as potential factors in the development of running injuries. There is however some debate over their roles and how these factors interlink. A long-held view, for example, is that weak glutes leads to altered kinematics (increased hip adduction when running), and this may be one of several causes of patellofemoral pain in runners. Alongside this view is the assumption that strengthening the glutes would alter kinematics by reducing hip adduction and therefore be effective in management of patellofemoral pain in this population. Despite this being a fairly widely held assumption it is not one that is currently well supported by the research. This study sought to examine the relationship between strength and running kinematics in healthy runners and determine sex-specific differences.
60 healthy runners between 18 and 60 years old who ran at least 20 miles per week were included in this study. 23 females and 37 males participated and had reported no major running injuries over the last 6 months. Hip, pelvis and trunk kinematics were collected during overground running at a self-selected “easy” pace using reflective markers and a 10 camera motion capture system. Isometric hip abduction and external rotation strengths were assessed bilaterally using a Biodex dynamometer.
- Hip abduction strength was moderately and inversely correlated to hip adduction excursion in females (weaker hip abduction was associated with greater hip adduction)