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.
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…
@KineticRev Right stance isn't as bad because of the trunk shift. The body is trying to accommodate.
— RobertPickels (@RobertPickels) March 5, 2015
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: