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No Butts About It: Three Glute-Strengthening Exercises For Runners

Health & Medical Blog

When you run, the gluteal muscles in your rear end are responsible for stabilizing your pelvis as you lift your legs and propel yourself forward. If your glutes are not strong, you'll be more prone to injuries such as IT band syndrome and strained hips. There are no "butts" about it – if you want to be a strong, injury-free runner, you need a strong butt! These three glute-strengthening exercises will help you build and maintain those muscles.

Weighted Squats

Squats are a classic exercise for building rear end strength. When you do them with weights, they're even more effective. Start by just holding a 5- or 1-pound weight in each hand, depending on your level of strength. Stand with your feet as far apart as your shoulders, and then bend at the knees to squat down. When your knees reach a 90-degree angle, start straightening them to stand back up. Try to do at least 20 squats per session at first. As you grow stronger, you can add more weight and aim for closer to 40 or 50 squats each time you work out.

Leg Lifts

This exercise not only builds a stronger butt, but also stronger abs. It's a great all-around core exercise for runners. Lay on your back with your arms by your slides. Both of your legs should be straight out in front of you with your toes pointing up. Lift both of your legs off the ground at the same time – leaving about 6 inches of space between your heels and the ground. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Aim for 5 lifts during your first few sessions, and build up to 20 lifts over time. See if you can eventually hold each lift for longer than 15 seconds.

Stair Climbing

Going up and down stairs is very simple, but it's great for building strong glutes. If you have a staircase at home, just spend 10 minutes going up and down the stairs each day. If you don't have access to real stairs or if you'd rather work out at the gym, just add a few minutes on the stair stepper to the ends of your workouts.

If you start building stronger glutes, you will avoid a lot of injuries throughout your career as a runner. These three exercises are a great start, but talk to your physical therapist to learn about more exercises that may improve your glute strength.


15 September 2016