Do runners have weak glutes?
One of the most common reasons why runner’s get injured is related to lack of glute strength and endurance. Given how important our glutes are for running, working on your glute strength can not only reduce the likelihood of injury but also improve your running. Our physiotherapist Michael Scardamaglia explores why your glutes are so important and what exercises you can do at home.
Why are your glutes so important?
When we run, our glutes combined with your core muscles are designed to keep our hips level and steady. Keeping our hips level provides a steady and optimal position for the body to generate power and run most efficiently. In fact, a number of common running injuries often related to gluteal weakness include achilles tendinopthy, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome and plantar fasciitis.
Glute weakness is commonly neglected by runners as they focus on their quadriceps and hamstring strength. In addition, a large majority of us spend prolonged periods of time sitting, further exacerbating glute weakness.
What are the best exercises for the glutes?
Exercises that specifically target the hip abductors are crucial for running. The hip abductors are muscles on the outside of your hip which assist to keep the pelvis steady and even when standing on one foot.
Try the exercises below which can be used before running as activation exercises or even specifically for strength sessions.
Single leg hip abduction on the 45
Stand with a resistance band around your knees or ankles.
Start with your feet at shoulder width apart.
Leaning forward slightly, step backwards with one leg on a 45 degree angle.
Return back to the starting position
This is a great exercise for working your glutes on both the leg that remains still and the leg that moves backwards.
Stand with a weight at chest height.
Start with your feet slightly wider that shoulder width apart and turn both feet outwards slightly.
Keeping your chest upright and holding onto the weight, slowly squat down.
The aim of this exercise is to keep your back straight and chest upright.
Feel free to shift your weight side to side at the bottom of the squat for an additional stretch throughout the lower limb.
Your physiotherapist can tailor an individualised exercise program to strengthen your glutes. In addition, it is recommended that strength training for specifically for running should compliment your regular running program.
Regardless whether you are just starting out or are an advanced runner, contact our team today or book online.