Monthly Challenge for Runners: Targeting the Glutes

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Targeting the glutes with RunnerClick Monthly Challenge for Runners: Targeting the Glutes www.runnerclick.com

If you are a runner, you have an idea of how important core strength is to maintaining posture and helping to make your stride more efficient. The trick to power, strength, speed, and efficiency truly comes from your glutes. The glutes are made up of the: gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius. The primary movement of the glutes collectively are hip extension, abduction, along with a little bit of hip rotation. They are your magic muscles and will help to keep you at the top of your running game.

And today is your lucky day! We have a monthly challenge that really targets the glutes. These specific exercises will not only lift the booty but will also improve your running performance, gait, speed, power, and reduce injury. An all around win-win!
The Plan
Each week, for 4 weeks, you will be given 5 exercises to try, 1 per day with 2 rest days of your choosing. Try to do 3 sets of 10 of each exercise, and for each leg if necessary, unless otherwise mentioned. At most, you will only need your own body weight, but you can always feel free to progress the exercises as you go along with either a resistance band or dumbbells. These are no excuse exercises as they were designed to have the freedom to be done anywhere. The program is not rigid but to be a tool to help educate you on lower body exercises to try throughout the month. Ideally, you will be able to incorporate some or many of these exercises into a full body workout routine using some or all the monthly challenge exercises at least 1-2 times a week, following the challenge.

Week 1

Bridges

Bridges

Lay on your back with feet on ground, hip width apart. Tighten your abs and exhale to lift your bottom off the ground, keeping your knees hip width apart. Squeeze your glutes at the top for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your bottom back to the ground.

Narrow Feet Wide Knee Bridges

Narrow Feet Wide Knee Bridges

Lay on your back with your feet on the ground together. Widen your knees apart, then tighten your abs and lift your bottom off the ground keeping the knees wide. Squeeze your glutes at the top for 5 seconds before slowly lowering your bottom back to the ground.

Bridge with March

Bridge with March

Lay on your back with feet on ground, hip width apart. Tighten your abs and exhale to lift your bottom off the ground, keeping your knees hip width apart. Keeping your pelvis level, slowly lift one foot off ground to march the knee up towards the chest. Lower foot back to ground and lift the other foot off ground. Lower that foot back to ground, then slowly lower your bottom back to the ground.

Bridge with Bicycle

Bridge with Bicycle

Lay on your back with feet on ground, hip width apart. Tighten your abs and exhale to lift your bottom off the ground, keeping your knees hip width apart. Keeping your pelvis level, slowly lift one foot off ground to march the knee up towards the chest. Then straighten the elevated leg up towards sky. With the straight leg, lower leg to hover just above the ground Bring back to march position then lower foot back to ground. Repeat sequence with the other leg, then lower the bottom to the ground.

Single Leg Bridge

Single Leg Bridge

Lay on your back with one foot on ground and the other straightened up towards the sky. Tighten your abs and exhale to lift your bottom off the ground, keeping your pelvis level. Then slowly lower your bottom back to the ground. Repeat for 10 repetitions on one leg before switching to the other side.

 

Week 2

 

Side-lying Clam Shell

Side-lying Clam Shell

Lay on your side with both knees bent and feet together. Tighten your abs, keep the feet together and pivot the top knee up towards the sky without letting the pelvis tilt back. Return to start position.

Side-lying Leg Lift

Side-lying Leg Lift

Lay on your side, bend the bottom knee and straighten the top leg. Tighten your abs, keeping the top leg in line with the torso, slowly lift the leg up to the side about a foot. Do not let the pelvis rotate. Slowly lower the leg back to start position.

Side-lying Bicycle

Side-lying Bicycle

Lay on your side, bend the bottom knee and straighten the top leg. Tighten your abs, then march the top leg up towards the chest. Next straighten the top leg in front of you. With the top leg straight, slowly swing the leg back extended behind you without rotating the pelvis. Repeat the bicycle motion for 10 repetitions before stopping and switching legs.

Side Plank

Side Plank

Lay on your side with both legs straight. Push your hips up in the air, not letting pelvis rotate while forearm and bottom foot remain on ground. Hold this position from 30 seconds to 1 minute and try to repeat 3 times on each side.

Side Plank with Leg Lift

Side Plank with Leg Lift

Lay on your side with both legs straight. Push your hips up in the air, not letting pelvis rotate while forearm and bottom foot remain on ground. Trying not to lose your balance, lift the top arm straight up to sky while slowly trying to lift the top leg up to the sky, then lower the top leg back down. Try to stay in the plank position to repeat the 10 leg lifts before lowering hips down to ground and switching other side.

 

Week 3

 

Donkey Kick

Donkey Kick

Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Tighten your abs and exhale as you extend one leg out behind you, like a donkey would kick, without twisting the pelvis and keeping elevated foot facing the ground. Lower leg back so the knee hovers just above the ground. Repeat 10 repetitions on one leg before switching sides.

Fire Hydrants

Fire Hydrants

Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Tighten your abs and exhale as you pivot one bent knee out and away from body, like a dog would pee on a fire hydrant, without twisting the pelvis. Lower leg back so the knee hovers just above the ground. Repeat 10 repetitions on one leg before switching sides.

Hip Rainbow

Hip Rainbow

Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Tighten your abs and exhale as you extend one leg out behind and away from you at a 45 degree angle. Without twisting the pelvis or tilting the low back, elevate the leg up and over the foot of the bent knee on the ground. Repeat hovering back to out and away as making the shape of a rainbow. Repeat 10 repetitions on one leg before switching sides.

Hip Extension with Pulse

Hip Extension with Pulse

Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Tighten your abs and exhale as you extend one leg out behind you with foot on ground. Squeeze the glute and lift the leg straight up to the sky without twisting or tilting the pelvis and keeping elevated foot facing the ground. With the foot elevated, pulse the leg a few inches up and down 10 times before lowering leg back to ground and switching sides.

Bird Dog

Bird Dog

Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Tighten your abs and exhale as you extend one leg out behind you, like a donkey would kick, without twisting the pelvis and keeping elevated foot facing the ground while lifting the opposite arm up overhead at the same time. Lower leg and arm back so the knee hovers just above the ground. Repeat 10 repetitions on one leg before switching sides.

 

Week 4

 

Standard Squat

Standard Squat

Begin in a standing position with the feet facing forward and hip width apart. Start to slowly lower your bottom towards the ground, keeping the weight in the back of the heels, back straight, and knees behind the toes. Get as low to 90 degrees without pain. Squeezing the glutes, straighten your knees back up to starting position.

Sumo Squat

Sumo Squat

Begin in a standing position with the feet facing out and wider than hip width apart. Start to slowly lower your bottom towards the ground, keeping the weight in the back of the heels, back straight, and knees over ankles. Get as low to 90 degrees without pain. Squeezing the glutes and inner thighs, straighten your knees back up to starting position.

Reverse Lunge

Reverse Lunge

Begin in a standing position with the feet facing forward and hip width apart. Step back with right leg to a wide split position. Slowly lower your back knee towards the ground while also bending the front knee, both to 90 degree angles. Maintain balance while keeping the weight in the back of the heel of the front foot, back straight, and knees behind the toes. Squeeze the glute of the front leg to straighten your knees back up to starting position. Repeat 10 times before switching sides.

Single Leg Squat

Single Leg Squat

Begin in a standing position with the feet facing forward and hip width apart. Lift one leg in front of you, while maintaining balance on standing leg. Slowly lower your bottom towards the ground, keeping the weight in the back of the standing heel, back straight, and knees behind the toes. Go as low as you can without losing balance or letting the knee of the standing leg move medial. Squeezing the glutes of the standing leg, straighten your knee back up to starting position. Repeat 10 times before switching sides.

Single Leg Balance to Warrior 3

Single Leg Balance to Warrior 3

Begin in a standing position with the feet facing forward and hip width apart. Slowly lift one leg up to a march position and find your balance. Then slowly kick that marching leg back to extend the leg behind you as the upper body hinges forward at the waist. Keep foot facing ground and try not to rotate pelvis. Squeezing the glute of the standing leg, slowly bring extended leg back to march position. Repeat 10 times before switching sides.

 

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