For the past decade, coaches, trainers, and physical therapists have told runners to “work your core” or the muscles of your torso that support our every move. So lots runners added crunches and planks that strengthen the abdominals and back to their routines. We know these are important exercises, but they don’t help us increase strength in the areas that we use as our “powerhouse” when we’re running….the pelvis. The hips and glutes are so commonly left out of runners’ strength programs, they are often called the forgotten core.
When we run, our hips and glutes hold our pelvis level and steady, propel us forward, and keep our legs, pelvis, and torso aligned. When our glutes are weak, the entire lower body chain gets out of wack. Studies link hip and glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner’s knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome.
According to a Runner’s World article about the importance of strengthening our hips and glutes, “Part of the problem is that glutes aren’t as active as other running muscles during routine activities, which can make your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves disproportionately stronger. Another issue is that most strength-training routines don’t isolate the glutes. If an exercise requires several muscles to perform the movement, the majority of the work will be done by the strongest of those muscles.”
How do we fix this common problem? Throw in some strength work that focuses on hips and glutes! Time for our killer Donkey Kick Workout!
This 10 minute workout targets the specific areas that we tend to overlook…no more forgotten core! Follow along with me and let’s get strong together!
I know this workout is tough….but when it’s done, knock out one :60 Plank of your choice then take a short break and dive into our bonus exercises. They are the perfect addition to today’s booty burn!
Day 7 exercises:
- Donkey Kick Workout
- :60 Plank (your choice)
- Bonus exercises
Bonus: Jennifer’s Super Happy Fun Time (with band) & Side Lying Leg Lifts
- 3 sets of 10 for each leg
We’ve done these before so you know how to do them but here’s a quick reminder for each.
Jennifer’s Super Happy Fun Time (Otherwise known as three way leg raises 🙂 ):
- If you have one, place a resistance band just above your knees. If you don’t have one, you can do this exercise without the band, you just won’t have the extra resistance.
- Separate your feet and bend your knees, lowering down into a slightly crouched position. Balance on your left leg.
- With slow, controlled motions, move your right leg forward against the band’s resistance, then back to the starting position.
- Without placing your right foot back on the floor, move it out to the side, then return to the starting position.
- Move your right foot behind you, then back to the starting position. That’s one repetition.
Side Lying Leg Lifts:
Lie on your side with your legs extended out straight. Your lower arm can rest under your head; your top arm can rest on your hip. Lift the top leg up while keeping your hips steady and facing forward (do not rotate backward). Lower down and repeat. For an added challenge, wear an ankle weight.
Speed Work: 6 x 800 meters
You know how to do this one.
- Warm up – 1-1.5 miles
- 6 1/2 mile repeats (no walking) with a :90 rest in between sets – 3 miles
- Cool down – 1-1.5 miles
- Total of 5-6 miles
Remember to stop your watch during your rest if you are standing still or you can jog slowly to get your heart rate down. Then go at it again! Keep track of your times and see how you are improving.
Sometimes speed work sucks. It’s common to feel anxious about it and you might even hate it. But once it’s done you will feel amazing and you will see improvements! Just remember that speed work isn’t just about getting faster, it’s also about building up your oxygen intake which translates into easier runs all around.
No Junk Food: Today we are going to make our own healthy choices so there’s no “list”. Instead I want you to practice saying “no thank you” to foods you know are unhealthy. You know what you should avoid. Can you do it for one day? It’s only 1 day Crew you can do this! It’s Wednesday…you have holiday parties and family dinners coming up so TODAY you can avoid those foods you know are bad. Just TODAY…say no thank you to junk food!
When you do…don’t feel deprived. Feel empowered that you made the healthy, smart choice! And when those parties come around…you’ll feel a little better about indulging…and maybe you’ll even say no thank you to over indulging. 🙂
Forgotten Core No More!
Love your BUTT Crew! Stretch it out, give it a nice pat or thump to rub out the pain but don’t skip today’s workout.
Hope your day is as nice as your BUTT! 🙂