5 must-do glute exercises for runners and cyclists
The gluteal muscles have enviable strength. By strengthening them, you can become a more successful athlete, cyclist, skater, skier, dancer, runner, hiker, swimmer or weightlifter. You got the idea, right?
Strong glutes are a win-win for your body as they help reduce stress on your knees and spine. When the gluteal complex is not working properly, other muscles are forced to compensate and take on some of the work. This can result in pain or even injury.
In reality, in training, the glutes are rarely the center of attention, as the quads pull the blanket over themselves and dominate many lower body exercises. To make matters worse, your back and other muscles are trying to compensate for the lag in the gluteus muscles.
5 Glute Exercises
The following five exercises give your buttocks a chance to shine and become the star of your show! You can do them one after the other, or selectively include them in your training program.
All these exercises can be done with your own weight or with weights, it depends on your training. You will also need a chair, stand or platform (a ladder will work too).
After a short, dynamic warm-up, do 8-12 reps for each exercise. Start with one set and gradually work your way up to three sets.
1. Glute bridge (two and one leg)
Lie on your back, legs bent at the knees are hip-width apart, feet are relaxed, heels rest on the floor. Tighten and recruit your glutes to lift your pelvis off the floor. Do not arch your back, your neck should be relaxed.
2. Clam exercise
Lie on your side, knees bent, feet together. Spread your legs like a clam shell to work the gluteus medius. You can add resistance with a rubber loop to increase the difficulty level.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take your pelvis back and transfer your body weight to your heels, as if you were sitting in an imaginary chair. Maintain a neutral spine position (do not tilt your upper body forward). Keep your knees over your toes.
4. Squat on one leg (squat “pistol”)
For this exercise, use the TRX chair or loops for functional training as support. As you move your pelvis back, keep the knee of your working leg over your toes. Squat on a chair at first (if not using TRX), start moving up after lightly touching the chair with your buttocks. Exercising on one leg is a great way to understand which leg is stronger or weaker and to correct power imbalances.
5. Stand Rises
Find a stable platform with an area that allows you to place your foot calmly to complete the lift of one leg. Place your foot on a stand or platform, and then, pushing your heel into the platform, move your pelvis back to more effectively load the gluteal muscles. Climb up until you stand straight; buttocks tense, hips under the shoulder girdle. Slowly lower yourself to the floor. The angle of flexion at the knees and hip joints should be less than 90 degrees.