Do Your Hips Move Like This? Contralateral Pelvic Drop

Mar 6, 2015   //   by James Dunne   //   Biomechanics & Running Technique  //  2 Comments  //  Affiliate Disclosure  


Last night I posted this short video on Instagram of a female marathon running client of ours. She’s a great example of a runner who displays a bilateral contralateral pelvic drop.

Yep, those hips look great on a catwalk, but they’re not what we want to see from a runner.

In fact Brad Neal writes here about this pattern being a common contributing factor to ITB Syndrome. Bear in mind that there are of course multiple factors affecting ITB Syndrome.

As Robert Pickels points out on Twitter, we need to look at the compensatory patterns that occur throughout the body to accommodate this lack of hip stability…

The lateral shift of the trunk to the right, during right sided weight bearing is a common compensation we see. It becomes most obvious when you see the ‘shoulder drop’ it creates.

The mechanism at work here is the body trying to shift the Center of Mass over the top of the base of support, in the frontal plane.

Achieving this reduces the moment arm acting on the hip in the frontal plane. This is especially common when there has previously been pain on the affected side.

What Can You Do About It?

The resounding response to this short video clip on social media was:

“That’s what I do too… How can I fix it?”

I consider this pattern less of a strength deficit, more a muscle activation/timing and neuromuscular control issue.

There are of course a huge number of exercises you can use to improve muscle activation and neuromuscular control in muscles such as Glute Med.

I’d suggest reading this article to appreciate my philosophy on this: Train the Movement, not the Muscle

Here are a few exercises you could try for starters:

FREE DOWNLOAD: Runner’s Knee Rehab Resources [PDF]

Weight bearing Glute Med Hold

Resistance Band Crab Walk

Glute Med & Psoas Drill

About The Author

James has an academic background in Sport Rehabilitation and a special interest in Applied Biomechanics. He currently coaches a large number of Runners and Triathletes across all levels of ability and performance. He's grown a strong reputation for enabling athletes to improve their running performance and overcome running injuries through improving their Running Technique and developing Running Specific Strength.

 

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2 Comments

  • I have recently bein diagnosed with three herianted discs, T11, L3-4 and L4-5 irely miss running,been unable to run for almost 1 year as originally diagnosed with periformis syndrome untill my MRI , what can I do to help with my treatment ?

  • Clients stance is too narrow. Catwalk women are taught to put one foot in front of the other to produce the “wiggle walk” . Compare the stance of catwalk models with Kipchoge or Gwen Jorgensen both of whose have wider stances.

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