Why should I strengthen my bum and hips?
Most runners neglect the muscles in their hips and bum until they start to cause a problem. The muscles in your hips are some of the most important muscles for runners because they help with hip flexion and extension, both of which are important for your running stride. Improving your hip strength will improve your hip stability and reduce your injury risks. Your glutes are also vital for your overall running strength: work a few of these exercises into your general strength training routine.
How will a strong bum help my running?
Your gluteal muscles (namely your gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius) are situated on the back and side of your pelvis. When you run, your glutes hold your pelvis level and steady, extend your hips, propel you forwards and keep your legs, pelvis and torso aligned. If your gluteal muscles are weak or not activating as well as they should, it’s possible that you might experience hip, knee, ankle or foot injuries and potentially not run as effectively as you might want to.
Running is a demanding, high-impact sport and all runners benefit from strengthening and conditioning the muscles that are activated during running, especially the gluteal muscles. Strong gluteal muscles can help optimize proper running form and performance, increase stability and potentially help you avoid injuries.
What equipment do I need for this hip and bum workout?
For a couple of these exercises, you’ll need an exercise ball and a kettle bell. If you haven’t got a kettle bell, then you could always try filling a backpack with something heavy like cook books. Otherwise, you can find relatively cheap exercise equipment from large stockists like Amazon or Decathlon. As some of these exercises are on the floor, you might want something comfortable to lie down on, too: here are the best yoga mats.
Run on the spot for one minute. Perform 10 jumping jacks and 10 squats. Repeat everything twice. This should increase your heart rate and prepare your body for the workout.
Want more? Here’s the 5-minute warm up you should do before every run.
How to do strength training exercises
Perform three sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. Aim to do a strength training workout three times per week. If the workout is getting too easy, do it as a circuit where you perform each exercise for one minute before moving on to the next without resting between exercises. Once you’ve completed them, rest for two minutes and repeat. You can also increase your weight to up the intensity of your workout.
Lie down on the floor. Perform a lying hamstring and glute stretch. Follow on with hip rolls in order to mobilize your spine.