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Why Runners NEED STRONG GLUTES and How to BUILD THEM

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

If you're the runner who routinely does banded glute exercises…

Or the runner whose constantly fighting off ANOTHER injury (old or new)

Or the runner looking for the best glute exericses for runners because strength training is important (or so you hear)…

First thing: light those booty bands on fire.

Where we're going, we don't need them.

Because to build STRONGER GLUTES like a RUNNER is MUCH easier than you think.

Let me show you.


WHY you NEED STRONG RUNNER GLUTES

If you've ever been accused of having weak glutes, it's probably because you've had at least ONE Of these injuries before:

  • Tight and/or painful hips

  • A strained or pulled hip flexors

  • Runner's knee

  • Even Achilles tendonitis

  • or plantar fasciitis

Yup, even feet injuries are DIRECTLY impacted by how STRONG and activated your glutes are!

That's because our glutes are our running POWERHOUSE.

But a lot of running gurus make the mistake of looking at the victim and not searching for the culprit.


Example:

Because you keep ending up with tight, achey hips after speed work ramps up, all the running gurus tell you to stretch out of your hips better and strengthen your hip flexors because those must be weak.

When in reality, your tight hips are the victim of unactivated or maybe even weak glutes.

Fix the culprit (the lazy glutes) and your hip flexors "magically" get better.

But how do you know if your glutes are weak, unactivated, and the culprit behind your injuries?

You TEST them.

DO YOU have STRONG GLUTES?

Let's spill the tea…

You may have genuine weak glutes.

OR….it's more likely you have UNACTIVATED glutes.

Because with every step, every mile, every cross training workout you do…

your glutes are working for you.


So while you'll always benefit building STRONGER GLUTES, be sure you aren't sabotaging yourself before you even get started.

Glute sabotage looks like:

  • Having cruddy hip joint mobility

  • Relying on massage guns or recovery tools alone to "fix aches and pains"

  • Telling yourself band workouts are enough all the time to build strong glutes and prevent injury

If you feel attacked, I'm sorry.

You actually have a chance to prove me wrong; you ready? ;)

I have a TEST you can do RIGHT NOW to put your glutes to the ultimate test.


What this test does:

  • Takes you to the edge of your single leg balance, while also challenging your glute and posterior chain's ability to stabilize you in a positions that resembles running.

In other words…can your glutes HOLD YOU UP and prevent you from falling over?

The best part: all you need is YOU and the floor.


SCORE YOUR RESULTS:

  • 5secs+ BOTH SIDES: wow, your glutes are basically super heros! Your posterior chain and glute muscles play well together and keep doing whatever it is you're doing (even if means only banded exercises ;) )

  • 3-5secs on ONE SIDE: don't worry, this is pretty normal to have one rock star glute and one sort-of weak-sauce glute.

    • The GOOD part: this can be easily fixed, like in 2minutes with the right activating exericses. This *could* be why you end up with all your injuries on one side of your body…think about it ;)

  • Immediately falls over BOTH SIDES: well…we've got our work cut out, don’t we? Let's get to it ;)

THE SECRET TO BUILDING STRONGER GLUTES

Step 1: work on hip mobility

Step 2: wake up and activate your glutes (<--we're here)

Step 3: build strong glutes

Would you start any kind of intense speed work or hill workout without a warm up?

(probably not)

So why do the same thing with a strength work out?


Immediately jumping into back squatting the equivalent of your body weight might look cool,

...but it's not advised without a WARM UP.

I personally dislike warm ups; I don’t know why. So to trick myself into doing them, I activate muscle groups before really putting them to the test with my strength workouts.

That's the benefit and purpose of these exercises:

  • to prime, activate, and set your glutes up for success so you can actually build glute strength that your body will then know how to use on a run, translating into faster paces, running stronger, and being an overall better runner.

Sound good?

Let your glute warm up/activation BE EASY.

This can mean 2 exercises.

Yup, that simple.

Simple and still be effective

Exercises for Glute Warm Up

2-3 rounds // to fatigue

  • Plank Sprinters

  • Wall push with glute pumps

Ready for your transformation?

Repeat that test from before.

And don't forget to notice POSITIVE IMPROVEMENT.

It might be subtle such as:

  • You don't wobble *as much*

  • You can hold the position for 1sec longer

  • You wobble, but you don't fall down this time

All of these are signs that your glutes are activated and waking up.

The foundation is laid and you're ready to build stronger glutes on top of this.

Can a warm up like quick and easy possibly help THAT MUCH?

Absolutely.

It can be the difference between a run that gets cut short because of pain or a run where you break barriers on what you thought was possible.

HOW TO BUILD STRONGER GLUTES
NOW you may begin lifting heavy things ;)

And you can do that successfully because you have a system in place, right?

  • A mobility pre-test with exercises that get you REAL, genuinely improved hip joint mobility results

  • The glute activation and stability pre-test with accompanying runner-specific activation exercises

  • And a strength circuit that looks like running by placing you in challenging positions that you be accessing while you're *literally* running

No??

Don't worry, running fit fam, I got you.


That instant transformation you experienced above, isn't a fluke.

It's real.

And there's MORE of it.

How does more, INSTANT results, happier hips and stronger glutes sound?

Along with finally having the knowledge to assess your own weaknesses and the appropriate exercises/workouts to address anything standing in your way?

The results YOU WANT:

  • understanding your glutes and body in an entirely new way so you can run stronger, faster, and better.

And it doesn't take 6 to 8 weeks to see results.

I want to invite you to check out my NEW workshop: STRONGER GLUTES where you learn exactly what your glutes and hips needs: mobility vs activation vs building strength so you can become a better runner.

Because you deserve more than a cookie cutter strength program that wasn't even designed for runners.
You deserve the tools to access the glute strength you already have and the knowledge to understand what your body needs (and what it doesn't).

Tap to read more about STRONGER GLUTES; I know you're going to love it ;)

Until next time,


Dare to Train Differently,

Marie Whitt, PT, DPT //@dr.whitt.fit

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