Rotational & Lateral Hip Control Exercise for Runners


Recently I filmed one of our triathletes performing a simple yet fairly advanced exercise to develop her ability to control rotational and lateral forces acting upon the knee. I really like this exercise as it challenges the athlete in a running specific ‘functional’ stance.

This is a great example of a functional dissociation exercise, teaching the stabiliser muscles to control movement on a segmental basis. The rotation of the upper body requires the athlete to use the abdominals to control the position of the lumbro-pelvic region, as well as challenging the stabilisers of the hip to maintain knee position.

The resistance band just above the knees adds an extra challenge. The isometric contraction of the hip abductors and external rotators needed to keep the knees from being pulled together, really gets those Glutes working hard!

Some simple cues:

  • Slight knee bend on standing leg
  • Slow, controlled rotation of the upper body
  • Keep knee and pelvis facing forwards
  • Relax the foot (don’t claw the toes). Lengthen through your big toe and push it into the ground.
  • Keep the tension on the resistance band throughout

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.



  • James, great website, love the tips that you are offering coaches, athletes and therapists alike! My concern with this exercise is if an athlete is already predisposed to gluteal fatigue (for a number of reasons), wouldn’t they overload their deep rotators instead? And if so, can you provide a cue to help them be aware of working their deep lateral hip rotators?

  • I’ll have to try this. I would second Ed’s question as I’m doing a lot of glute work and I know they get tired and I start using other muscles.

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