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The Running Room #3: Lying Side Leg Raises

Simple strength exercices for every runner.

Scientific Explanation From Coach Victor Gabriel 👨‍🏫

Lying side leg raises specifically target the outer thighs and hip abductors, crucial muscles for pelvis stabilisation and overall movement balance. For runners, the strength of these hip abductor muscles is vital as weakness in this area can compromise balance, disrupt running form, and ultimately lead to injuries. This simple exercise that you can perform anywhere strengthens these key muscles, helping maintain proper form and prevent common running-related injuries.

How to Perform It? 🤸‍♀️

  1. Starting Position: Lie on your side on a mat, legs extended, and body in a straight line. Rest your head on your lower arm, and place your other hand on the floor in front of you (or on your hip) for balance.

  2. Execution: Raise your upper leg to a comfortable height, ensuring the movement comes from your hip and not twisting your back. Your foot should be slightly pointed.

  3. Hold and Return: Hold the top position for 1 sec, then slowly lower your leg back down without letting your feet touch.

  4. Repetition: Perform the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides.

Tips ✅

  • Focus on Form: Keep your movements controlled to maximise muscle engagement.

  • Breath Control: Inhale as you lower your leg, and exhale as you raise it. Proper breathing helps in maintaining core stability.

  • Progressive Overload: Add ankle weights or use an elastic band as you become more comfortable and stronger

Common Mistakes to Avoid ❌

  • Don't twist your hips forward or backward

  • Don't lift your leg too high

Integrations Into Training 📆

  • As a Warm-Up: To activate and prepare for more intensive training. 2 sets of 10-15 reps per leg.

  • As a Regular Exercice: 3 sets of 20-25 per leg. Add weight or resistance if needed.

Arthur's Take As A Runner 🏃

Dealing with tight hips has been a challenge for me, and this exercise has been a game-changer. Given that the hips are centrally located in the body, they've been a source of various problems for me, including lower back pain and IT band syndrome. Incorporating lying side leg raises along with others mobility and stretching exercices has unlocked and strengthened my hips. Now, I can enjoy longer runs without tightness, maintaining proper form and shielding myself from those frustrating injuries and discomforts.


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