"Bang for buck" the Single Leg Glute Bridge is the best Glute exercise any runner can do to activate and strengthen the glutes.
Simple, effective and easy to do anywhere with a floor - this glute exercise is one of the kings of "injury prevention."
Far too many runners and trekkers focus on exercises like squats, deadlifts and lunges to help fire up the glutes and though these exercises can be very good at that (lunges / split squats and deadlifts especially) the Single Leg Glute Bridge is super easy to do and doesn't require any equipment
The "unbalanced" nature of this exercise makes it a brilliant and highly effective exercises for runners (and trekkers) - to compliment the unbalanced nature of gait (when running you only ever have one foot on the ground at any one time)
There is an "unwritten rule" that if you regularly run 5k's - you should be able to do 20 repetitions of this exercise on each leg. So if you're a marathon runner - there's a good argument you should be able to do at least double this - or preferably, perform it with increased resistance.
So, you should count yourself lucky I've only set your target to 20 reps per leg. :-)
The glutes have a reputation for being lazy and "switching off" resulting in your hamstrings having to do all of the work your glutes (should) be doing. This phenomenon is known as synergistic dominance
The trouble is, the hamstrings will do the work of the glutes, but overtime they can become over worked and end up tight - or injured.
Your inactive glutes, also mean your pelvis (and ultimately your back) is not particularly well supported, which can lead to lower back pain.
It is so important that if you take part in any endurance event, you spend time working on your glutes (such as doing single leg glute bridges) regularly, so that they can be fired up and help stabilise you during gait, thereby playing a key role in preventing a range of biomechanical related injuries.
Send in your videos to the GH Training Facebook Page of you attempting or completing the challenges and if you impress me over the series of lockdown challenges - a copy of "The Marathon and Half Marathon: A Training Guide" could be yours.
How can you impress me? Here are a few ideas:
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For more information, tutorials and vlogs about the importance of glutes, how to make them "fire up" and which muscles you should stretch frequently to help the glutes "maximise their potential" login in to the GH Training Running or Trekking Hub.
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