Everyone likes a nice butt.
For runners however, it is not just a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘must have’.
A functioning and strong gluteal group can be the difference between happy running and being a broken runner.
There is a reason the glutes are chunky… They have a large cross sectional size because we need a lot of muscle fibres to do what we need to do.
The three gluteal muscles (maximus, medius and minimus) are primarily responsible for hip stabilisation, hip extension and hip external rotation.
The gluteus medius muscle in particular is critical for hip stabilisation. As a runner, if your glute med is week or your hips/pelvis becomes unstable and tilt or rotate excessively, your risk of back pain, joint irritation and muscle/tendon strain is incredibly high.
The gluteus maximus muscle is the one that gives your butt its shape and is also responsible for producing an incredible amount of power output when it comes to driving forward, up hills or jumping. It also has the job or rotating the hip outward which prevents the knee turning inward when landing on the foot, it can reduce the amount of inward rotation of the lower leg which in turn can reduce excessive pronation and stress on the foot.
As a health practitioner who regularly see’s patients with running injuries, I can say that there is often a component of gluteal weakness with many of the cases that present.
A major cause of this weakness is the culture we live in. For a lot of people, sitting is a big part of their day and this sedentary lifestyle breed’s weakness in not just the glutes but core, back and a host of other areas. The solution seems quite simple – move more. And in many instances, this will do the trick. For some however, the weakness is more complicated and requires very specific activation exercises just to get the muscles to a point where they are able to be strengthened.
If you are someone that needs to work on strengthening your glutes, I highly recommend you see a professional and get an assessment to find out what your glute story is. From there, the road forward will be much clearer and you will waste less time with exercises that are unsuitable for your body.
For runners, a well-functioning gluteal group will make you feel so much stronger, powerful and confident with your running. It also helps to reduce injury by supporting better running form.
Has someone checked out your butt recently? Maybe it’s time 🙂