reduce pain running Marie Fell - The Pilates Physio

How to reduce hip pain when running with Pilates…

Are you an avid runner who suffers with knee or hip pain when running?

Do you love running but it doesn’t agree with your body?

Would you love to run without all the aches and pains afterwards?


I am a self -confessed “bad runner”. I love to run but it does not particularly love me, or rather the pain I used to get in the outside of my knees during and afterwards caused me to stop.


I ran a lot after my mum died and for some reason I didn’t suffer with knee pain at the time. I needed the psychological release of lots of pent up emotions and it really helped me to clear my head and allow some deeper breathing and down time to just ‘be’.

Running is fantastic for weight loss, for a healthier mind, for a brilliant cardio-vascular workout and it certainly gives your lungs a great workout.

Marie Fell - The Pilates Physio

It has many huge benefits BUT it can also be taxing on our joints such as our spine, hips, knees, pelvis, ankles, feet, ribs, shoulders, neck – you name it I have come across all sorts of aches and pains in various joints all linked with running.


If you are suffering with any joint or muscles aches and pains from running don’t ignore them, go and get assessed by a physiotherapist who can assess and diagnose your problems and treat you accordingly.

There are several exercises you can do to help increase your muscle strength around your buttock muscles that help stabilise your lower limb when running.

Pilates teaches you the perfect techniques needed to isolate and activate these muscles without “cheating” or letting other muscles do their job! These all include working your core muscles also.

So what exactly are these exercises?

The CLAM – no not the barrier reef clam but the Pilates version.

A brilliant exercise that often many perform incorrectly for years.

It’s a tricky one for people to feel, find and isolate the correct part of the buttock muscle we are targeting. To be specific we are aiming to get your glut medius muscle – your hip stabiliser to switch on.

Marie Fell - The Pilates Physio

If you perform the CLAM and can’t feel it on the top or back part of your hip then you are DOING IT WRONG. So please stop as it’s pointless to continue. Many people feel this exercise in the front or back of their tight, side of the leg, or deep in the back of the buttock. If you feel any of those places working or being ‘overactive’ then seek a help from a professional to show you the correct technique needed to get this muscle active.


It’s often due to weakness that we struggle to activate this muscle and it is extremely tricky to isolate at times. It can also be due to tight overactive other parts of (often) the same leg that can inhibit this muscle from working. Again seek an assessment if you are having pain or problems.


One you do find it, feel it, work it – your running technique will improve and your pains will become less and less.

For the correct technique you can watch my you tube video about the correct way to perform the Clam <<<here >>>

Running painfree can be a problem for many.

A lot of us struggle with various ailments which can include tight, overactive muscles in the legs that if not stretched out can lead to pain or injury.

Injury prevention is KEY with running and being aware of what our bodies are struggling with is where we need to focus our attention.


Often poor hip rotation, weak bottom muscles (gluts) or core muscles (trans ab/pelvic floor), poor control of the pelvis when standing on one leg (as seen during the running cycle) are just a few reasons that some people struggle to keep running.

If you are an avid runner, a running assessment is strongly recommended which many physiotherapists can offer you. There are apps you can use to film your running technique that you and your physiotherapist can analyse and look at together to break down your technique and really target problem areas. Never ignore a niggle or ache or pain as you may be causing more harm than good that can lead to a repetitive injury or trauma.

We are of an age where we need to increase activity more than ever to help balance our busy fast paced lives and minds but it is pointless exercising only to get injured and then be out of action for weeks whilst that said injury heals.

If you suffer with weak gluts or core muscles or injuries then go to a Pilates class that is preferably led by a person with an interest in running or a physiotherapist led class who can modify your technique throughout if needed.


It is important you go to smaller Pilates classes that can be adapted to your needs and exercises tailored to help you, are practised. If you go to a large gym class you will get swallowed up by trying to compete with those around you who are not using their core muscles correctly to carry out level 5 of whatever exercise the instructor is showing you. Please always bear that in mind if you have injuries.

Feedback from my Pilates attendees is often they never knew they were doing a certain exercise so wrong until having more in depth teaching and hands on corrections. They get a huge amount of increased body awareness and recognition of how they are moving from my small classes. I teach all participants to recognise their postural traits and adjust them to help reduce their aches and pains.


If you would like more exercises devoted to Pilates in running and can not get to one of my classes have a look at the APPI Pilates for Running DVD that can be found on my website.

Stay healthy and stay happy this year.

Injury prevention is key.