Have Knee Pain? Your Butt Might Be To Blame.

Staff Writer
Research uncovers clue about what causes knee pain in runners

Knee pain sucks—and, according to research, female runners are significantly more likely to feel it than their male counterparts. But new research may have uncovered one easy way to combat the aching-knees phenomenon clinically known as patellofemoral pain (PFP). And you’re probably sitting on it.

According to a recent study from East Carolina University, when running, women use their gluteus maximus muscles 40 percent more, and the entirety of their gluteus muscles a whopping 53 percent more, than male runners—likely predisposing females to glute-fatigue earlier in a workout. And when this muscle group tires out, a runner’s gait changes in order to compensate (for instance, the study found that a woman’s knees and hips turned more inward during ground-strike than a man’s), likely contributing to PFP, according to researchers.

What does this mean? Basically, that stronger glute—and hip—muscles may help ward-off or decrease running-associated knee pain, especially in women. Though, really, it sounds like a good tactic for any runner, man or woman, struggling with knee problems.

For how-to videos of butt-burning exercises, check out these videos from Runner’s World.