Turns out, I'm not alone in having weak glutes and hips--most runners neglect these areas and it sometimes comes back to haunt them. To avoid ending up with an injury that is partly the result of weak hips and glutes, try some of these strengthening exercises that I've recently added to my routine:
- Hip thrusts--Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground. Lift one leg and point it towards the ceiling. Slowly lift your butt off the ground and thrust your leg up. Repeat 10 times on each side.
- Bridges--You can do these in the same position as above, or make it even tougher by placing your feet on a stability ball. Simply raise your butt off the ground until your body forms a line, pause, and return slowly to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Lateral raises--Lie on your side with legs out straight. Slowly lift your leg up and back down again (think old Jane Fonda videos!). Repeat 10 times on each side. To make it tougher, place a Theraband around your ankles.
- Clam shells--Lie on your side with knees bent to about 45 degrees. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee up and then back down. Repeat 10 times on each side. Again, make it more difficult with a Theraband, this time around your knees.
- Lateral steps--Place a Theraband around your ankles in a standing position. Squat slightly and take 10 steps in one direction, stop and then take 10 steps in the other direction. That's one set.