Runners with weak hip muscles could have a higher risk of injury, according to a research review conducted by a group of Australian scientists. The team’s findings will be presented later this month at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana.
For the review, the researchers gathered as many studies as they could find on hip abnormality and lower-leg injuries in athletes. After a thorough examination of runner-specific studies, the researchers identified several key findings.
First and foremost, runners with lower-leg injuries had weaker hip flexors than other runners. Furthermore, the runners with injuries had significantly weaker hip flexors and hip abductors on their injured side as compared to their non-injured side.
In addition, "Hip flexors in first-time injured runners were significantly weaker when compared to reinjured runners," the researchers wrote.
Based on these studies, as well as additional research papers involving other types of athletes, the scientists believe that weak hips and limited hip mobility can be key factors in the development of lower-leg injuries.