The glutes are key in keeping the pelvis stable, extending the hip, forward movement, and keeping it all aligned. Weak glutes cause the entire kinetic chain to be disturbed. Glute weakness is shown to be linked to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner's knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome. The glute is often not active in regular activities like other muscle groups leading to disproportionate calves, hamstrings and quadriceps, it is also hard to isolate glutes in strength training (Kimball, 2011)
My Glute Strengthening Plan
Side Steps: Remember the lovely stretchy band you were handed in PT one day? Well pull it back out, bad memories and all! Wrap band around both ankles and step sideways keeping knees straight and hips forward and NO ROCKING! You will feel it on upper outer thighs. Do 3 sets of 12.
Squats: Line up with a bench behind you, knees apart and feet facing forward. As you bend, touch butt on bench and use glutes to push back up to standing. Keep chest forward and don't lean down. Do 3 sets of 10-12.
Where am I now? After about a month of these exercises the piriformis pain is gone and hamstring tightness improved. I feel stronger running hills and fatigue less quickly. I know this is a combination of all my strength training and running, but I love the difference so far. The real test will come in preventing further injury.
And we have made it to Friday, after thinking yesterday was Friday I am ready! Looking forward to the weekend and my 20 mile run, What are your weekend plans? Check out Fitness Friday