Warm-Up: Glute Activation Drill

Many of us will have been told by the physio to spend a little more time focusing on exercises to build stronger glutes. The various routines we’re subsequently given to strengthen these butt muscles should become an important part of your weekly schedule.


In fact, weak glutes can contribute to many common running injuries such as patellofemoral syndrome (runner’s knee), and high hamstring tendinopathy, as well as overuse injuries like shin splints. The vast majority of runners would benefit from time spent developing the strength and stability provided by their glute muscles. This beginners marathon training plan provides a good example of how I factor strength exercises into a running schedule.


While classic glute focused exercises like squats, deadlifts and bridges are great for building strength in this important muscle group, many runners find that they don’t necessarily feel the transfer of this new found strength from the exercises into their running gait.


Rather than ‘how do I strengthen my glutes?’, the important follow-up question has to be: ‘how can I use my glutes more effectively as I run?’


A simple solution to this question is to incorporate glute activation exercises into your warm-up routine. Exercises like the hip circles drill from the video above will help you to activate your glutes before you start running. This will make it easier for you body to recruit these important muscles while you run.  


Aim for 2 sets 10 hip circles in each direction, on each leg, before your next run. You should feel the muscles around your hips beginning to work hard by the end of the second set!