2019 Lake Union 10K start

Improve Running Performance with 5focus South Lake Union Physical Therapy

In honor of the 10th Annual Lake Union 10K our expert physical therapist Sarah Berkshire shares some tips to improve running performance.

Summer running season is in full swing and with that comes pesky running injuries. Focusing on a few few key running muscles can reduce the possibility of injury and can help you run longer and faster.

Your buttocks are made up of three key running muscles–the gluteus maximus, minimus and medius. The gluteus maximus helps with hip extension to propel the body forward. Unfortunately, it’s also the muscle we spend so much time sitting on!  

The other two buttock muscles, the gluteus minimus and medius help support your body when standing on one leg. This is important since each time you contact the ground when running you balance repeatedly on one leg. Weaknesses in the medius and minimus can cause alignment issues down the leg into the knee, ankle, and foot, which can cause pain in those joints and make running difficult.

The hamstrings, another key running muscle group, work with the gluteus maximus to drive the hip and leg back when you contact the ground and push off. Strengthening the gluteus maximus in combination with the hamstrings helps provide a stronger drive backwards, which will propel you forward faster!

Some of the most important running muscles that tie everything together is the core.  The core is made up of the chest, back, abdominals and obliques. It helps keep your trunk upright and propel your limbs forward and backwards when running. The core also creates pelvis and hip stability, which helps with single leg balance. When your body feels properly balanced, you waste less energy and as a result improve running performance.

These are just some of the muscles involved in improved running and decreased possibility of injury. The physical therapists at 5focus thoroughly assess your body for structures which might be weak or tight, impacting your running form and possibly creating injury. We work with each client individually, to return them to running faster and stronger than before!


To experience 5focus Movement Studio, consider a 20 minute free physical therapy consult! Learn more about our unique South Lake Union Physical Therapy approach here.