*Note: I’m going to start making my way back to blogging. It has been a roller coaster ride of emotion, fear and time constraints but I love my blog and I want to get back to what I love and back to writing for those of you who read this. Thank you for sticking with me, encouraging me and for just being awesome. I’m back.*
Shout out to Sir Mix A lot, but in this case I’m not talking about having a big butt, but a stronger one will do. I have weak glutes and I cannot lie.
It’s true. My glutes are weak and I can’t deny it or avoid it anymore. As most of you know, I’m a runner and we runners are notorious for having weak back sides. Our hamstrings, glutes, lower back, calves and Achilles’ tend to be both tight AND weak at the same time. It’s just comes with the territory. Of course, I’d always known that strong glutes and hamstrings would make me a stronger runner, but I never committed to really strengthening those parts of my body. I tend to focus more on my core and keeping that foundation strong for other activities as well.
I found out my glutes were extremely weak the other day while I was at work. We had a little down time and I’d gone down to do a variation of a lunge. My manager was watching and as I went down, my knee sort of buckled to the inside. She screamed out “OMG! No! We gotta work on your glutes girl! They are so weak!” So, I say “Wait, what? How do you know that?” Her: “The way your knee sort of caved to the inside. That’s a sign of really weak glutes. Your knee should be right over your ankle.” It looked a little bit like this (I know this is a pic of a squat, but you catch my drift):
So I try a lunge by keeping my knee in line with my ankle and not let it cave to the inside and IMMEDIATELY felt a difference. That correct movement activated my gluteus medius. I tried ten “correct” lunges on each leg and my butt was burning after about 6 reps. That’s how I knew I had to work on getting my glutes stronger right away. Not just for running but for life in general. A strong backside is actually more important than we think.
Why strong glutes?
- Weak glutes can’t stabilize your pelvis, which causes it to tilt forward. This puts pressure on your lower spine.
- The lower back can be injured if it is forced to do the hip-extending job of the glutes.
- The ankles can be strained if misused due to improper alignment caused by inactive glutes.
- Strong glutes help you perform functional movements much better.
- Dead lifts, squats and lunges are only performed correctly and effectively if your glutes are activated. Otherwise, other muscles have to work harder, which makes you more prone to injury.
My manager gave me a few recommended glute strengthening exercises to do EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. (She’s a sports performance trainer so she really knows about athletic performance and body parts.) She even recommended that I do these for about 2 minutes before I go for a run. She said they’d make world of difference in how I perform. Here are a few of them:
So… who wants to join me on the journey to get a stronger booty? Sometimes, all you need is a really good kick in the ass to get things into gear. No pun intended! I’m going to do my best to work hard and do these exercises everyday so that I have a stronger body overall. Not just a stronger core to be a stronger runner, but I have to work on my backside as well.
Try it: Try a lunge (feet a little closer than hip width apart, take a big step forward with one leg and lower down to the floor), pay attention to what your front knee does on your way down. Does it cave or lean to the inside? It may be time to start working on building up those glutes.
Here’s to a stronger (more round and a little bit tooted) butt!