Many runners think that hip or glute strengthening is as simple as going out and doing a bunch of squats and lunges. Yes these exercises will get your glutes strong but more often than not they are done wrong and with little to no contributions from the muscles the exercises are designed to target. Just because a running magazine says certain exercises will strengthen your hips, it doesn’t necessarily mean your hips are doing what they are supposed to. If you wonder what I am talking about, the next time you see a “top 10 exercises for runners” article in a magazine; try the exercises you read about. The day after you do them, ask yourself, “Where am I sore?” More often than not, the soreness is NEVER in the hips and glutes. This is primarily because of two key things: Most people don’t know how to either move from their hips (in runners, this is typically because they are very quad dominant) or they don’t know how to “activate” their glutes. The good news is that both of these things can, and will change with appropriate training. The bad news is that you can’t always start with the advanced exercises such as the squat and the lunge. Too many people skip straight to the advanced exercises before even learning the fundamentals of strength training. This is one thing we never want to do. Instead you should learn the fundamentals in this order:
- Learn how to move from the hips – This means the first and most dominant movement made needs to initiate from the hips not the knees. Movement starting in the knees is quad dominant not hip dominant.
- Learn how to activate the glutes – Activating glutes means you consciously use them to help perform a movement. If you don’t “feel” your glutes, you aren’t using them.
- Learn how to properly lunge and squat – Once you have learned how to move from the hips and activate the glutes then you are ready to start lunging and squatting.
This is just a brief look into glute training. If this has peaked your interest in glute training then I’ve got just the thing for you. My Strength and Mechanics for Runners guide takes this training method to the next level and will benefit runners at all levels. Click the button below to get your free copy today.