Workout Wednesday: Glute Attack!

My runs are suffering a little now that I’m nearing 3 miles. (Please tell me about your running habits by clicking over to my Runners’ Survey. I think it’s always a good idea to share info with fellow runners, now I want to know about yours!) I have started to have pain in my right hip again and my left knee, ankle, and hammy are giving me grief as well. Not that the Bradford Pear Trees aren’t somewhat to blame for the decline in performance, but it’s also lack of a consistent run schedule, and working on how to be best hydrated/fed when I run.

But there’s one more performance factor that I haven’t addressed in the last 4 months of run training and that is my strength. I have been doing Yoga, running, and now some Pilates, but I haven’t been doing drills like I should and I’ve gotten away from a consistent body weight training program geared toward improving my run performance. I alluded to this in my 30 Days posts here and I linked up with the info from Running on Happy and muscle imbalances here, but I still didn’t commit on my own.

So, in the interest of sharing links, here are two things that were sitting on my phone browser awaiting to be read for some time and I finally took them in and to heart!

4 Ways to Become a Better Runner this Year

Number 3 is build strength…..duh!

5 Must-Do Glute Exercises for Runners and Cyclists

  1. Supine Bridges (Double and Single Leg) – When you do these, make sure that the hips stay level, even if you’re only doing one leg. The raised leg shouldn’t move independently of the other leg….the pelvis is a set here and the glutes are meant to do the work. I do these a lot when I teach yoga and Pilates with a different focus on each, but I need to find ways to challenge my own glutes and not just do a few reps for class.
  2. Clamshells – I did this one a lot in physical therapy. It also targets the dreaded piriformis muscle that ends up having to be foam rolled out, but talk of foam rollers is for another day.
  3. Squats – We know how much I love the squat….check it out here and here and tons of other posts I’ve written about them.
  4. Single Leg Squats – See number 3
  5. Step-Ups – I wish I had a better place to practice this than the back steps to our house, but the only set of stairs in the house are not deep enough for good step-ups. I also will be using the picnic tables as we have different heights for different work.

So, what’s the moral of the story here? For the next six weeks, my M,W,F runs will also include glute work to see if I can’t get that distance going again. Glutes are important in climbs and my courses are starting to involve a few more “hills” here at the beach.

What’s your favorite glute exercise?

What are you doing to improve your strength?

Where are you muscle imbalances?

What is your typical/recurrent running injury?

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