Everyone knows where their glutes are and definitely know when they’re sore or in pain, but what if they’re weak? They are such an important part of hip stability and balance and can wreak some serious havoc if ignored.
When we run or walk, the glutes hold our pelvis level and steady, extend our hip, propel us forward, and keep our legs, pelvis, and torso aligned. Studies link glute weakness to achilles tendinitis, shin splints, runners knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome.
Part of the problem is that glutes aren’t as active as other running muscles during routine activities, which can make your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves disproportionately stronger. Also, when you’re on a treadmill, your glutes shut off during your gait and over time can lead to weakness and inhibition. Another issue is that most strength-training routines don’t isolate the glutes. If an exercise requires several muscles to perform the movement, the majority of the work will be done by the strongest of those muscles. Tight muscles, specifically the hip flexors, can also inhibit the glutes and prevent their muscle fibers from firing.
The exercises below all target the glutes, specifically the gluteus medius, which is the major hip stabilizer. Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps twice a week. After a few weeks, you should feel your balance and strength improve, and you just might get that runner’s butt you’ve always wanted!!
- Glute Bridge: Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push your hips into the air using your buttocks muscles and keep your back straight and in alignment with your hips. Avoid arching your back. Squeeze glutes and lift hips towards the ceiling. Hold for 3 seconds then relax by dropping hips down 6 inches.
2. Abduction: Lie on your side with your knees together and bent (or leg out in front). Gently raise your top leg up towards the ceiling. Pause and slowly lower back to the start. Repeat on other side
3. Single Leg Deadlift: Stand with knees slightly bent, slowly bend forward on your right leg while extending your left leg behind you. Try to bend forward as much as you can, pause and then slowly return to the start. Repeat on other leg
Don’t let weak glutes sabotage the rest of your efforts! Get started today! Request Appointment