It's a fact - I'm a bit of an injury plagued runner. The problem is, I usually know the reasons why, and I still have a hard time preventing injury! The fact that running while pregnant didn't agree with me actually was a blessing. I had been dealing with overuse injuries for over 6 months prior to getting pregnant, and a good 9 months of rest helped everything heal! Since getting back into running, I really want to avoid those same injuries again. I think I've finally straightened out my shoe/achilles tendonitis problem - Hello Brooks Ravenna! But now I'm on to the one that challenges me the most: my teeny tiny puney booty.
Yes, the calves, quads and hamstrings all play a role in being a strong runner, but so much of your power and stability come from those glutes! The gluteus medius specifically really should be engaging while running to help stabilize your hips and hamstrings and it often DOESN'T. Because I have a super weak butt, my other muscles (mainly lower back and hamstrings) do the compensating to keep me cruising along. Then in comes the pain. So you say, what's the solution? Get a strong booty and learn to activate it while running!
I know, I'm the trainer, I know what the problem is, I know what the solution is, so why haven't I done it? I DON'T KNOW! I do glute exercises here and there, but never enough to really make a difference. I've noticed in my last few runs that I'm definitely not using any butt muscles, and I'm already feeling the consequences in my hammys.
So that's it. I'm going to do it, I really am. I have put together a circuit of dynamic strength and glute activation exercises to do before EVERY run. I am also going to be more diligent in working glute strength moves into my workouts. The key is to not only get those muscles stronger, but then to get them firing before a run so they actually do some work. I'm hoping that this time I can really stay consistent and make a difference in my running. Besides preventing injury, there are also the "side effects" of becoming faster and having a better looking butt! Now maybe THAT will motivate me!?
Today I want to share my pre-run booty boost workout. These are even great exercises to do mid-run if you're feeling imbalanced. I have been known to do them at stoplights! Once I get a good strengthening routine down I will share that one too.
a breakdown of each move . . .
#1 - Hip Swings - The goal here is to get really loose in your hips. Swing one leg in front of the other while keeping balance on a wall, car or post. Keep your leg straight but relaxed and work to get a big range of motion out of your hip.
#2 - Curtsy Lunges - Like a curtsy, you will tuck one leg back behind the other while squatting down. Get your butt way back and go as low as you can. Keep you chest up as well. I do all of these on one side, keeping one foot planted and swinging the other behind for 15 reps. Then switch sides.
#3 - Deep Squats - With a medium stance, start standing tall, and then sit WAY back and low. I like to reach towards the ground in the warm up to stretch my back a bit too. I always explain this by saying you want to pretend there is a chair way behind you and you are reaching your butt back to land in it.
#4 - Charlies Angels Lunges - These are fun but super challenging when you first start! Go into a static lunge with your front knee over your ankle and a 90 degree angle on your back leg. Be sure you have your balance here. Keep your arms together, straight and in front of you the whole exercise. Then, rotate your upper body towards your back leg, opening your hips and turning your back knee. Use your glutes to pull your body back to the starting position with your hips in line.
Extra Bonus - I try to do a few passes in the driveway of high knees and butt kicks too.
As always...stretching the glutes, hamstrings and quads after running is important too.
My favorite glute stretch is the pigeon!
how about you?
Does anyone else have issues strengthening their glutes?
Or know what they need to do to rehab an injury but just don't do it? Please tell me I'm not the only one.
Disclaimer: Although I am an AFAA certified Personal Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet. If you choose to do any workouts on this website, you do so at your own risk.
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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I am not a licensed medical professional. All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program.
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