Glute Activation Workout for Runners
Running is one of those things, you either love it, or hate it.
Myself, I hate any sort of distance running – but I will make myself do it (very occassionally) because I LOVE the way it makes me feel afterwards – when I have pushed through the mental resistance and challenged myself. But, I do love sprints, so much that they are a key staple of my cardio & HIIT programme.
However, no matter what type of runner you are, novice, experienced or crazy ultra marathon addict – there is something everyone who laces up needs, and that, is a set of strong, activated glutes so as to stabilize the pelvis and reduce the risk of injury.
The best cure is prevention, so in order to help you push through to the finish line here are a few exercises designed to help you balance your strength through the glutes and core, focusing on dynamic and functional strength so you can go for miles!
Grab yourself a booty band – otherwise known as a looped resistance band– which will help you activate & engage all the correct muscles in your butt.
Place the band up over your knees and set yourself up so as you are standing tall, the band is taut around the legs. As you sit low down into a perfect squat, make sure you keep the pressure out into the band so that your knees don't drop towards each other. You want to feel a good squeeze through the outside of your glutes and hips.
Make sure you really press the hips forward at the top of the movement and maintain engagement the whole way down & up!
lateral Crab walks with resistance band
Crab walks are great for building strength and endurance in your Gluteus Medius - the ever important muscle that stops your pelvis from dropping out of alingment as you stride!
Again with the band just above you knees, you want to sit low into a squat, keeping the band nice & taut. You then want to step the right foot out, keeping the knee aligned over the toe and the hips nice and square, pressing into the band. From here, step the left foot in to join the right. You want to try & stay nice and low in the squat as you move laterally, avoid your head bobbing up and down.
Reps: 10 in each direction
Banded squat with kick back
This one targets your Gluteus Maximus, the powerhouse which helps you drive forward with power!
Keeping the band above your knees, lower into a deep squat, as you return to the top, press the right leg up and behind you. You want to ensure the spine and pelvis stays neutral and long, so you don't compress the lower back, but feel a burn in the top of your booty! Return back to the squat to alternate sides. Think tall Pilates posture the whole time, keeping the core engaged and back long.
Side lunge to curtsy
This movement makes you change planes and directions, forcing you to use your core to stay controlled & balanced, whilst simultaneously hitting your glutes, inner thighs & quads- all super important in helping you hit a perfect running stride.
Standing tall with the feet parallel, step out wide to the right, bending the right knee but keep the left leg long & straight. Press back up to stand tall, squeezing to the top from the inner thighs. You then want to step the right foot behind the left and bend through both knees, aiming to take the right knee down towards the group. Return back to the top by pressing through the left hamstring and booty.
Reps: 10 on each side
Reverse lunge to knee lift
This move mimics the action of running, helping you build functional strength within a dynamic exercise. Standing tall with the legs in parallel, step the right foot back into a deep lunge, keeping the spine & pelvis neutral and dropping the right knee towards the ground. As you return, press through the left heel and hamstring to draw up tall and lift the right knee towards the chest, keeping the hips balanced and square. Lower back down into the lunge to keep repeating.