Glute strength for runners
Lately there has been a big push in the world of physical therapy for runners to improve their glute strength — and it’s not just so that we can look better in our tights. The reason for this fixation on glute strength for runners is two-fold:
1) Most people don’t use their glutes in day-to-day life (sitting in the car, sitting at work, sitting on the couch). When your body doesn’t use a muscle regularly it “forgets” how to activate the muscle. That means for most of us, our bodies may have forgotten how to even get our glute muscles working.
2) The glutes are big, powerful muscles, so when we run, we want to make sure that they’re doing their fair share of the work. When they don’t (either because of weakness or lack of activation), then smaller, weaker muscles are forced into doing more work than they are designed to do.
Fortunately, the single-leg bridge in the video is a way to improve both glute strength and glute activation. It’s a simple exercise that may seem challenging at first, but is an appropriate addition to your post-run routine for nearly every runner. Increasing the amount of time you hold in the bridge position as you get stronger will make sure that your glutes are ready for whatever the road may hold!