As Sir Mix-A-Lot famously said, I like big butts and I cannot lie. While there are many reasons for the love of butts, big butts are fantastic for runners. Unfortunately, many runners are unaware of the role their glutes play in their running performance. So why are strong glutes so important to runners? 

What are the glutes? 

The gluteal muscles are made up of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus, as well as the "deep six" or "lateral rotator group," which lies directly underneath the gluteus muscles. 

What do they do? 

Gluteus maximus and medius are responsible for maintaining a stable pelvis and an upright posture when running. Strength in the glutes also contributes to a more powerful stride because of its role in extending the hips. As the largest glute muscle is key for achieving faster speeds and better performance, you can run faster with the same effort if you strengthen your gluteus maximus. Build that butt, but don’t forget to warm up

What will happen if I neglect glute work? 

If your glutes are weak, the piriformis muscle must work harder. This can lead to it becoming enlarged and pressing on the sciatic nerve, creating sciatic pain. 
It’s common for runners to have strong abs and back muscles but weak glutes. Studies link weak glutes to Achilles tendonitis, runner’s knee, ITB syndrome, and other common injuries. 
Part of the problem is that your glutes aren’t as active as other running muscles during routine activities. This leads to your hamstrings, quads, and calves becoming disproportionally stronger, which is known as an imbalance. 
Even if you’re taking a break from running in the heat, performing strength training exercises that isolate and strengthen the glutes will correct this imbalance and help you to stay injury free. Try this 10 minute glute activation exercise to help strengthen your muscles. 
If you want to find out about the ways in which we can support your health and fitness goals, check out the treatments we offer. 
Tagged as: Glutes, Running
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