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Cross Training For Runners

The 6 Best Glute Strengthening Exercises For Runners

5 Mins read

Are you looking for the best glute exercises for runners? Then you have came to the right place.

The glutes are an extremely vital muscle group for many reasons.

These important muscles are essential for improving performance, preventing injury and helping you look nice in your jeans.

And for runners, these muscles are way more important.

In fact, the glute muscles are the source of power when it comes to running.

While running, the glute muscles keep your pelvis steady and level, and also keep your torso, pelvis, and legs aligned.

Therefore, these muscles should be the focus of every runner’s oriented strength workout program.

And today I’m going to share with you some of my thoughts along with practical tips and bodyweight exercises to help you get the most out of these incredibly important muscles.

Of course, feel free to use dumbbells, kettlebells, bars and exercise machines, but training equipment do not always come in handy.

Most of the time you would need to hit the gym.

The good news is that you can do the routine I’m sharing with you anytime anywhere.

Just show up and work your butt off, no pun intended.

With that said, and before we jump into the routine, let’s first take a quick look at the glutes’ primary job and the link between glute weakness and running injury.

The 6 Best Glute Strengthening Exercises For Runners

These muscles are responsible for many important functions, including:

The Gluteus Maximus.

This is the largest muscle tissue of your butt cheeks, and it’s in charge of hip extension, as well as moving the leg behind us—key for forward drive while running.

See picture.

Another vital muscle is the Gluteus Medius, which is the smaller muscle tissue at the very top of the butt.

This one is in charge of hip abduction, moving the leg out to the side.

And it’s also responsible for sideways tilting of the pelvis.

Glutes Weakness and Running Injuries

Research has linked glute weakness to a myriad of running injuries.

Some of the injuries related to gluteal muscle dysfunction include (and not limited to), IT band syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, shin pain, knee pain, the notorious runner’s knee, back pain and a host of other trouble.

Glute Workout For Runners

Here are the bodyweight glute strength exercises you can do anywhere anytime.

The routine is simple and straightforward.

Aim for two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

If you have neglected your glutes muscles for the last few years, then aim to do at least two to three glute workouts, repeating the routine two to three times per week.

Glute Exercise For Runners – 1: Bridge

Muscle engaged:

Gluteus maximus, rectus abdominis, hamstrings, and hips.

Proper Form:

Begin by lying flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side, feet flat on the floor hip-width apart and knees bent.

To perform the bridge, press upward by pushing with your heels, lift your hips off the ground while keeping your back straight throughout the exercise.

Make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.

Squeeze your glutes and abs tight and hold the pose for 30-second to one full minute, then slowly return to starting position.

Glute Exercises For Runners – 2 : Single-Leg Elevated Glute Bridge

Muscle engaged:

Glutes, hamstrings, and the whole core.

Proper Form

Assume bridge pose with your feet flat, core engaged and knee bent.

Next, extend your right leg as straight as possible toward the ceiling while keeping your thigh in line with your hips.

Keep extending your leg upward by driving through the heel, and raising your butt off the floor.

Extend your leg as far as possible.

Hold it for 5 to 10 seconds, then bring it down, and switch sides.

Glute Exercise For Runners – 3: Glute Kickback

Muscle engaged:

Glutes, hamstrings and upper legs.

Proper Form:

Get on all fours with your back parallel to the ground, and hips lined over the knees with hands directly under the shoulders.

Next, as you inhale in, thrust your right foot backward as though you’re kicking like a horse.

Make sure to flex your butts for a 1-count when your leg is fully extended back behind you.

Bring your knee almost all the way down to the floor, and then repeat for eight to ten reps.

Lower the knee back to starting position and switch sides.

Glute Exercise For Runners – 4: Step-up with Knee Raise

Muscle engaged:

Abs, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Proper Form

Stand upright facing a bench or a box of a challenging but proper height.

Next, step up on the box by putting your right foot on the top of the box with your knee bent to 90 degrees, then straighten the leg to stand upright.

Make sure to extend through the knee and hip of your right leg to stand up on the box.

As you stand on the box, balance on your right leg and flex the left knee, bringing your knee as high as you can in a controlled and slow manner.

Pause for a moment, then slowly return to starting position and repeat.

This is one repetition.

Additional resource – Running Vs. Strength training

Glute Exercise For Runners – 5: Side-Lying Leg Lift

Muscle engaged:

Gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, and abductors muscles

Proper Form

Begin by lying on your right side with your legs extended straight out.

Next, as you brace your core, raise your left leg up to the ceiling while keeping your hips stacked and steady and back straight.

Pause for a moment, then lower down and repeat.

Glute Exercises For Runners – 6: Band Walks

Muscle engaged:

Glutes and hip abductors.

Proper Form

Get a band and wrap it around your legs, about mid-shin level—just above each ankle.

You should feel a little resistance when standing with your feet hip-width apart.

Next, with core engaged and hands on hips, bend your knees slightly, and shift your weight over your right leg and take a wide step sideways with the left leg, then step right foot in.

In this exercise, you will be moving your leg in and out laterally, for 12 to 15 repetitions

Aim for 10 steps to the left, and then 10 to the right, repeating it for a complete of three sets.

Additional resource – Clamshells for runners

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There you have. This post covers some of the best glute exercises for runners. Now it’s up to you to put them into action. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

David D.

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