5 equipment-free Pilates moves to fire up your glutes

If you want to remain running injury-free then cross-training is a must - especially when it focuses on your glute and core strength. 'Pilates is excellent for cross training,' says Caron Bosler, a Pilates instructor with over 25 years of experience who runs Pilates Squared. 'Everything in Pilates is initiated from the core. The whole theory of core stability, moving with the breath in conjunction with the pelvic floor and the transverse abdominals is intrinsic to the Pilates principals. Pilates works the body focusing on sequencing from the core, using smaller muscle groups to create even symmetry throughout the body.' 

(Read more on why runners should do Pilates)

Strengthen your glutes and core with this at-home workout from Bosler - you don't even need any specialist equipment. If you do want to make the moves more challenging, though, try adding ankle weights.

1/ Fire hydrants

Start on your hands and knees with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees hip width apart. Inhale to prepare, then as you exhale draw your navel to your spine. Keeping your hips aligned, lift your right leg to the side keeping the knee bent at a right angle. Inhale back to your starting position. Repeat 20-30 times. On the last repetition, hold your leg in the raised position and pulse 20 to 30 times. Repeat on the other side.

2/ Rear bent leg raise 

Start on your elbows and your knees, with your elbows shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Keeping your right knee bent at a right angle lift the leg behind you so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Return back to your starting position and repeat 30 to 50 times before changing sides.

3/ Side lying clams with feet raised

Start lying on your left side with your head on a pillow and your shoulders, hips and feet in one line. Your knees should be bent with your right leg stacked on top of your left. Inhale and lift your feet a few inches off the floor. As you exhale, slowly open the right knee towards the ceiling without your hips and feet moving. Close and open the right knee 10 to 20 times. Repeat on the other side.

4/ Leg extensions

Start lying on your left side with your head on a pillow and bend your knees so that they are almost at a right angle in front of you. Inhale and touch the right knee on the mat in front of the left. Exhale and extend the right leg on a slight diagonal behind from you, feeling your glute engage. Repeat 10 to 20 times, then repeat on the other leg.

5/ Pelvic curls with bent leg

Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your arms down by your side. Lift your right leg into a table top position and inhale, then as you exhale slowly round your pelvis off of the mat, pushing through your left glute and keeping your back relaxed. Exhale to roll back down. Repeat 10 times. On the last repetition, hold your pelvis up and do tiny pulses 10 to 20 times. Repeat on the other side.