Get your buttocks working

Get your buttocks working

I treat a lot of clients for injuries, and niggles to the hip and knee. All too often the buttocks are not working.  Now, there are many reasons for this, and there are many other muscles, fascia and ligaments that need work too. But for the focus of this Blog, and following an excellent workshop last week on Unwinding the Spine from Noah Karrash at the North London School of Sports Massage, I am going to focus on the Gluteals!

Learn more about Strength Training for Runners here.

I have done many workshops with Noah, he is a fountain of knowledge and the NLSSM runs some great courses - check them out here. One of the key muscles involved in correct biomechanics for running are the Gluteals - maximums, medius and minimus.  The Anatomy of the Gluteal muscles can be seen here and a great book for strength training, with good clear diagrams of how the muscles work is this one. He also does a Female Specific Book so check that out too.

As you sit here reading this Blog I would like you to activate your buttocks and think - do both buttocks fire equally?  Can you switch the right buttock and the left buttock on individually, and with equal strength?  Try this seated, standing and on one leg.  I get clients to regular buttock clenches and single leg balance work to get the muscles firing. The key focus here is to get your gluteal muscles working effectively, and efficiently rather than under, or over active. If you are unsure do just post a comment.

Once you have got some awareness of your buttocks, good exercises to build up the strength and functionality are:

1.    Gluteal Bridge - focusing on the downwards movement, leading into a bridge into a single leg extension. YouTube example:

2.    Side Lying Clam - very popular and effective physio exercise
3.    On hands and knees, gluteal extension

4.    Single leg balance on a stability disc and running leg action
Each exercise, 20reps, 2-3 sets or 10 reps each side. Engage core and breath.

5.    Single leg, mini squat on a bench side on, and forwards on the bench.

Once you have done these for 2-6 weeks, a couple of times a week you can move onto more functional exercises including:

1.    Swiss Ball Leg Extension, Curl & Squat

2.    Moving narrow and wide leg squat

3.    Lunge & multidirectional lunge

4.    TRX/ViPR Squats & Lunges

Again these would be 2-3 sets, 10 reps on each leg, or 20 in total with the focus on the gluteal muscles.  If you are unsure of any technique always ask a qualified professional to show you, at no point should there be any pain the knee or lower back.  Ensure you warm up, and cool down/stretch accordingly.

By strengthening your gluteal muscles (combined with more exercises and thoughts next month) it should help you to:

-    Reduce the risk of injury and tightness in the pelvis and knee area

-    Increase your power and strength when running

-    Improve your biomechanics  & posture

For more information and advice please do comment below and we will respond or visit our site: Let us know how you get on!

Have a great week running, and get those Buttocks working effectively. Until next week....

PS. I taught a great Children in Need Spinathon with Energised Clients & Friends - this is the last track of the 100mins, with Bristol's Sweatshop Assistant Manager Jan keeping the energy up - have a look!



Do you have a link for more explanation on the exercises described here?