Day 13: Fire Up Those Glutes!

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A few quotes from Doctors and Physical Therapists on the importance of glute strength…

“Glute strength is very important because it controls the entire lower leg and provides stability. If there is no stability, your legs can’t generate power. If you have weakness, other parts of your body try to provide stability and therefor you will have compensation and poor mechanics.”

“Gluteus maximus gets a lot of attention for the force it generates during push off and for good reason. We also know it’s an important muscle in maintaining proper trunk posture while running, as well as controls deceleration of the hip prior to foot strike.”

“Glute strength helps stabilize your pelvis as well as your knees. It prevents issues like Patellofemoral syndrome and IT band syndrome, both common in runners, as well as achilles tendonitis. We need our glutes and hamstrings to help with hip extension as well and shock absorption. Without them we rely to much on the wrong muscles which leads to problems. Our daily activities do not naturally work the glutes and hamstrings so we have to put more of a focus on them.”

Why are our glutes so weak?

In Eat, Move, Sleep, Tom Rath talks about how our sedentary lifestyles may be affecting our overall health, not to mention glute strength. Sitting all day is bad! Several other sources say the same.

  • Runner’s World has referred to sitting as the new smoking.
  • Researchers have found that “those with sedentary behavior have 49% greater risk of dying prematurely — even if they regularly exercised.”
  • According to, “After awhile of sitting down, your muscles remember the position that you put them in. Your hip flexors get tighter. Your glute muscles stretch out and get weak. It’s bad news – so avoid prolonged sitting (or standing) as much as you can”

Our amount of time spent running each week, doesn’t come close to the amount of time spent sitting, especially for those who have office jobs and tend to sit most of the day. As a result, our glute muscles aren’t needed as much, making them weaker. When you sit all day, your butt gets stretched out, making it more difficult to contract.

This awesome infographic says it best. Below is a small piece from the infographic. If you are one of those millions of people who’s job requires them to sit for long hours, you’re at an even higher risk for weak glutes. Please make sure you take a few minutes each hour to get up and move around. Do some stretching, walk in place or jumping jacks. Every extra little bit of movement counts!

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On to the show….

Day 13 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Donkey Kicks
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Bridge with Leg Lift (slow this one down)
  • :60 Wall Sit

Bonus: If you’ve been with us for a while, you probably already know what’s coming… Yep…the Donkey Kick Workout! Tough but doable. Fire up those glutes Crew! 🙂

Extra Credit: Our 7 Key Stretches for Runners should be done daily, or at least after every run, but if making it our “extra credit” works then I will add it everyday! 😉

Speed Work: Mile Repeats are on the menu this week. Click here and scroll through Monday’s post to find the workout.

Tuesday June 13th “how to” videos:

Donkey Kicks:  Targeting your Glutes and Lower Back, this movement also helps strengthen your core.

Fire Hydrant: Lock your elbows and abduct the hip at 90 or 45 degrees, draw your navel in and look at the ground.

Bridge with Leg Lift (Slowly): Work on control and stability

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