Do novice runners have weak hips and bad running form?

Anne Schmitz, Kelsey Russo, Lauren Edwards, Brian Noehren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


First, we sought to better understand the predisposition of novice female runners to injury by identifying potential differences in running mechanics and strength between experienced female runners and active novice runners. Secondly, we aimed to assess the relationship between hip and trunk strength with non-sagittal hip kinematics during running. Two female populations were recruited: 19 healthy experienced runners and 19 healthy active novice runners. Strength measurements of the hip abductors and external rotators were measured using a hand held dynamometer while trunk endurance was assessed via a side-plank. Next, an instrumented gait analysis was performed while each participant ran at 3.3. m/s. Group comparisons were made using an independent t-test to identify differences in the impact peak, loading rate, peak non-sagittal hip joint angles, trunk endurance, and hip strength. Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated between hip kinematics and strength measurements. There were no statistically significant differences in impact peak, loading rate, peak non-sagittal hip kinematics, or strength. However, the novice runners did show a clinically meaningful trend toward increased peak hip internal rotation by 3.8° (effect size 0.520). A decrease in trunk side-plank endurance was associated with an increased peak hip internal rotation angle (r= -0.357, p= 0.03), whereas isometric strength was not related to kinematics. Programs aiming to prevent injuries in novice runners should target trunk performance and possibly hip neuromuscular control, rather than hip strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-86
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially funded by the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems of the National Science Foundation , grant 1231545 . Funding support was also provided by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under award number K23AR062069. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • Hip strength
  • Impact peak
  • Loading rate
  • Non-sagittal hip kinematics
  • Side-plank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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