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Your glutes are the muscles in your buttocks. They're formed of the gluteus maximus (the biggest muscle in the whole body), gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. They attach to the ilium and sacrum, and insert on the femur.
Your glutes are your running powerhouse. Strengthening your glutes is crucial for holding good form while running, thus improving your running performance and helping to prevent injury. Strong glutes can even help reduce over-pronation, making your footstrike and gait more stable.
So glad you asked! We have 3 different workouts for you, based solely on body weight, using bands, or using a Swiss ball. Take your pick, or try them all. Also see our bonus tips on isolating the glutes, and adjusting your pelvic tilt...
Weak glutes can lead to common running injuries like runner's knee, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, and ITB syndrome. Strong glutes help not only in preventing injuries from running, but also reduce the chances of postural problems and associated pain in everyday life. Unfortunately, many of us have weak glutes as a result of the type of work we do. Sitting down at a desk all day just makes our glutes weaker – when they are not having to work they deteriorate in strength.
If you're a runner you’ve probably heard about overpronation. It happens when your arches collapse inwards during your stride motion, causing the knees to rotate inwards and putting pressure on calf muscles, etc. Around 75% of our customers are mild to strong overpronators, so it's quite common. We provide Natural Gait Analysis so we can help you choose the right kind of support in your shoes. Many of our customers keep asking us if there's anything else they can do to make their feet stronger. The answer is: YES!
Did you know that strengthening your glutes can decrease your overpronation? Strong butt muscles will help stabilise your hips and knees, preventing your feet from rolling inwards. You'll no doubt notice a difference after just a few weeks of doing the core exercises in the video below, for gluteus maximus and gluteus medius: supine bridge and clamshell.
These exercises require no equipment.
It's important to do exercises that specifically isolate the glutes to ensure you're really activating them and not letting stronger muscles do the work for them. When you perform exercises that use multiple muscle groups your body will automatically use your stronger and more dominant muscles, leaving your weaker muscles to gain little benefit.
For example, often runners have stronger quadriceps than glutes and therefore their quadriceps dominate. This muscle domination can eventually lead to over use and ultimately injury is likely to occur. It will also make it difficult for an athlete to reach their full potential as the domination of one muscle group will result in those muscles tiring sooner than they would if all muscles were fully activating.
Your posture, more specifically your pelvic tilt, determines whether your glutes are more or less likely to be activated. You can train your body to hold good posture (a neutral pelvic tilt) and thus allow your glutes to be activated naturally when performing exercises and taking part in sport. An anterior pelvic tilt (when the top of the pelvis is tilted forward) is down to tightness in the hip flexors and weakness in the abdominals.
So, stretching out the hip flexors and adding some core strength work into your training schedule will allow you to resolve this over time. A posterior pelvic tilt is the opposite, where the top of the pelvis is tilted back. This is usually down to weakness in the hip flexors and can be corrected by strengthening these. Correcting your posture will allow you to gain maximum benefit from performing these exercises.
As we know, sometimes it can be hard to find time for your strength & conditioning workout. So here's how to implement a quick workout right after your run. It’s one of our favourites – in just 4 minutes you’ll feel a lovely burning in your buttocks and thighs!
Get your Thera-Band or any other resistance band and join Goska in her quick post-run glute workout...
The red band provides medium resistance (5.5 pounds of force when stretched to 200% of its length); green provides a heavier resistance of 6.7 pounds; blue provides heavier resistance (8.6 pounds of force). Higher resistance bands are great for people who already work out regularly. Beginners may want to start with a lower one.
The Swiss ball squat is a relatively basic exercise, which will allow you to work on glute strength. Of the 5 exercises listed, this would be the best one to begin with if strength work is reasonably new to your training schedule.
There are a number of variations of the hip extension, all of which will work on glute strength. The Swiss ball hip extension is a basic hip extension made slightly more challenging by placing your feet on the Swiss ball, instead of the floor, adding instability to the movement and forcing all of your core muscles to work hard to maintain the neutral pelvic position.
This exercise is a little more challenging than the first two but don’t let that put you off!
These are exercises that we've found very useful and want to share with our customers. But we're not certified instructors. Always consult your specialist before beginning any exercise programme. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.
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