Hip muscle loading during running at various step rates
Weakness within the proximal hip musculature has been implicated as a frequent cause of a number of running-related injuries. However, the specific contributions of the hip muscles to running are somewhat unknown. The current study aims to quantify hip muscle forces and powers during running, and how these variables are influenced by changes in cadence.
30 healthy participants ran at their preferred speed at 3 different step rates (90%, 100%, and 110% of preferred cadence). Forces and powers of each muscle were compared across different cadences.
Gluteus medius demonstrated the highest peak force during running. The increased cadence enforced an increased hip flexor, hamstring and hip extensor loading during swing; which conversely diminished peak force and work during loading response for the gluteal muscles and piriformis. This insight demonstrates that increasing cadence at a given running speed yields a higher loading to hamstrings and the gluteals in late swing, while reducing stance phase loading in the gluteals and piriformis.
> From: Lenhart et al. , J Orthop Sports Phys Ther (2014) . All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. (Epub ahead of print)