The Myrtl routine is a set of body weight exercises that can be done just about anywhere. Legend has it that the Myrtl routine is so named because it strengthens the “hip girdle”. I’ve seen it spelled with the trailing “e” as well, perhaps implying it was invented in Myrtle Beach. In any case, the Myrtl routine is a great way to strengthen and increase the flexibility of the hip girdle, which is a key and often overlooked area on a runner’s body.
Weakness in the muscles that make up the hip girdle has been attributed to overuse injuries like Iliotibial Band syndrome, patellofemoral pain, bursitis and hamstring injuries. On the other hand, a strong hip girdle has been associated with conditions including “economical running” and “a strong finishing kick”. Based on these observations, I recommend using the Myrtl routine to strengthen and stretch the muscles of the hip girdle region. The Myrtl routine is a great way to begin or end a running workout, but it also works as a way to loosen things up following a long day of sitting when traveling or at the office. In short, you can do it anytime, anywhere.
I could describe the Myrtl routine to you, but the following video by Coach Jay Johnson (who has much cooler hair than me) is worth at least 10,000 of my words. Here is a PDF listing the steps and a video to follow along: