3 strength moves to activate your glutes for running

The glutes are one of the biggest and most powerful muscle group in the body. Unfortunately most runners struggle to activate them and ignore developing their strength in favour of building up cardio endurance. The videos below will help shift your focus into building a stronger you and in turn, a better runner. Concentrating on strengthening these key muscles will actually allow you to develop in to a better athlete. 

1. Elastic Band Pulses

Those little elastic bands that you see in the gym and never use, it is time to pick one up! Pop a band two inches above your knees and get into a perfect standing squat position. Push your knees out to create maximum stretch on the band. Now keeping your right knee totally still, drop your left knee in and pull it back to its starting position on maximum band stretch 10 times. You will feel your glute starting to fire and then scream at you! Repeat on the other side and then rest. Aim to complete for three sets, maintaining the quality of movement. 

 

2. Single Leg Step Ups


Building up your single leg strength should be a primary focus for any runner. Why? Because running is actually a single leg activity. Grab a box in the gym that is tall enough that when you place one foot up on to it it creates a 90 degree angle from standing leg to working leg. With your right leg up on the box, step up on to the box driving all of your weight through the right heel, keeping your knee over your laces. Your body should be travelling directly upwards. Your left leg should start close to the box base so as not to involved it in the upward pushing movement. Repeat for 6 reps on each leg. Once you are comfortable here, start to hold dumbbells in your hands to add difficulty and thus strength and power in your glutes. 

 

3. Glute Bridges


A weighted glute bridge is a simple and effective way to build strength and power in your glutes. They help to improve your posture whilst running and drive up inclines more easily. 
You can start on the floor or place your shoulders on a box that is high enough to create a good range of movement dropping your bum to the floor and driving up to a table top position. Once you have your position sorted and can get an effective squeeze of your glutes at the top of the movement, add an appropriate weight for your level across your lap. Perform 8 reps taking three seconds on each to get to the bottom of the range of movement before powering to table top and holding for three seconds. Rest and repeat for 3 sets. 
The combination of these three exercises will activate and stimulate the much relined muscle group that has become inefficient in our sedentary lifestyle.


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