The Gluteus Medius Activation in Female Indoor Track Runners is Asymmetrical and may be Related to Injury Risk.
Track runners train and compete solely in the counter clockwise direction around the track. These repetitive motions place track runners at risk of “over-use” injury, but strength differences place females at greater risk than males.
Running is a common recreational and competitive activity consisting of alternating stance and swing phases, and including an airborne phase. The intermittent application of force on contact with the ground produces a peak vertical impact force equal to about 2.5 times a person’s body weight, Achilles tendon forces between 6.1 and 8.2 times body weight, and patellar tendon forces between 4.7 and 6.9 times body weight. As a result, runners are prone to “over-use” injuries such as Achilles tendinopathy, chronic knee lesions, iliotibial band syndrome and stress fractures. International athletic competitions have relatively high rate of injury, and mixed findings about the injury rates in males and females.
Compared to running in a straight path with prominent vertical ground reaction forces, running around curves requires larger lateral ground reaction forces and different muscle activations. While both legs of a runner generate lateral ground reaction forces when running around a curve, the resultant ground reaction force is significantly greater for the outside leg. Right foot evertors and left foot invertors, in conjunction with hip abductors and hip adductors, are thought to produce the forces necessary for accelerating around the curves of the track.
While many studies have evaluated the kinematics and ground reaction forces during running around curves, fewer studies have evaluated the muscular patterns during running around curves and related cutting maneuvers.
Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2015; 1(1): 27-34. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-1-105