Leg strength for runners: Part 3,

Leg strength for runners – Part 3. Glute strength

Glute strength is important, especially for running.

The glutes take roughly 4x your body weight when you run. So it is important to make sure they are strong enough to take on this type of force.

If you run for leisure, competitively or play a running type sport, having a good training programme focusing on glute strength is a no brainer. By increasing the strength of the glute muscles you can prevent injuries such as gluteal tendinopathy and anterior knee pain as well as improving your ability to run faster and for longer. 

At Beyond Physio we know all about how to strengthen the glutes and how to find the best exercise programme to improve your running (or any sport for that matter) to prevent injuries. 

Click the link below for some information and exercises that will help strengthen your glutes.

There are 3 muscles that make up what we call our “glutes”. These three muscles all have their own specific role and all should be conditioned to work together as a team. Gluteus maximus is the powerhouse which helps propel us forward when walking and running. Gluteus medius and minimus help stabilise the hip and keep the hip from dropping or your knee from caving in when running.

If you want to work on power and strength add weight to the exercises and try to do 6-8 reps slowly to really get those strength gains (make sure you feel the burn by the last few reps).

Glute bridges: Lying on your back. Bend your knees and bring your feet close to your bottom, hip width apart. Starting by rocking your pelvis back, and slowly peel your bottom and spine off the floor, pressing into your feet. Squeeze your glutes at the top and try to hold this for 5 seconds. Slowly lower down, repeat.

Hip thrusters: Lying on your back, place your feet up on a step or small bench. Keeping your core strong, squeeze your glutes and raise your bottom off the floor. Hold this for 3-5 seconds and slowly lower back down.

Goblet squat: Start standing tall holding a weight close to your chest (or you can just do body weight). Keeping your chest up sit back into a squat (you can use a chair or bench behind you to guide how deep you go into the squat). Then push through your heels and mid-foot, squeezing your glutes on the way up until you are standing tall again. Repeat.

Side-plank abduction: Prop yourself up on one arm and knee, keep your bottom leg bent for support. Raise your top leg up towards the ceiling while trying to keep your body in a straight line. You can point your toe up, down or keep it straight – change it around to see if you can feel your glutes fire at the top of your hip.

Step ups: Start with a small step and work your way up to higher steps when needed. Step up onto the step/ box and raise your opposite knee for a balance challenge. Alternate legs or do a set on each. For increased power during your run, try a small jump at the top of the step.