Gluteal strength is essential for all movement. It also plays a critical role in the stability of the pelvis and lower extremity while running.
Runners typically hear about the gluteus medius and its role in minimizing pelvic drop. This is true and needs to be an area of focus.
However, there is another muscle that is critical for lower extremity control, that is the gluteus maximus. It plays a key role in controlling the hip – which therefore enables better control of the lower extremity.
Here are several movement circuits that can be performed to strengthen the glutes. Be aware that strength work alone will not change run form. However, it will allow you to gain improved muscle activation, movement control, and body coordination that can be utilized while running when given the appropriate cues.
- Bridge circuit (suggestion for reps and sets: 2-3 sets of 20 bridges, 20 bridge butterfly, 10 single leg bridge, 30 sec single leg bridge hold)
- Side plank circuit (suggestion for reps and sets: 2-3 sets of 30 sec hip abduction hold, 15 hip abduction, 15 clamshell)
- Hip band series + side step (suggestion for reps and sets: 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each direction of hip band series + followed by 3 sets of 15 side steps each direction)
- Banded jacks (suggestion for reps and sets: 2 sets of 2 min worth of 10 kicks followed by 10 jumping jacks on each leg)
This information is not intended to be medical advice. Consult with your physician or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.