Recently I discussed the potential detrimental effects cycling can have on your running technique. This seems to have resonated strongly with clinicians, runners and triathletes alike, which is great to see. Ky changes to running mechanics after cycling appear to be an increase in anterior pelvic tilt and hip flexion, both of which increase stress on the hamstring musculature and impair gluteal function. Increases to anterior pelvic tilt during running can be further compounded by sitting required for our occupations which can increase tone in anterior hip musculature (hip flexors).
Importantly, there are some strategies we can implement to reduce the amount of anterior pelvic tilt during running, which may be important in managing a number of running injuries, particularly proximal hamstring tendinopathy. These include:
1. Stretching – completing hip flexor stretches may help to reduce tone in theses muscles and subsequent pull into anterior pelvic tilt. A particular empahasis should be placed on stretching after prolonged sitting or cycling if you are planning to go running
2. Massage/foam roller – these interventions can help to reduce tone in the hip flexor musculature and thus make it easier to reduce the magnitude of anterior pelvic tilt during running
3. Gluteal and lower abdominal muscle activation exercises before running. These muscles are very important for reducing the amount of anterior pelvic tilt which occurs during running. A great exercise to help with this is a bridge, focusing on engaging the gluteals and lower abdominals
4. Focusing on running technique, particularly after prolonged sitting or cycling – thinking about pushing your hips forward or tucking your bottom under can effectively reduce anterior pelvic tilt. However, caution with this approach is recommended as if done too excessively, over-correction and subsequent hip injuries can result. It is best to complete a running technique assessment with someone with expertise in biomechanics and running retraining to guide this