We runners have a problem: our buns. Yes, those two sacks below your back. They get no love from most runners because of fear. Fear of bulky legs, fear of tired legs, fear of I don’t know what else, but FEAR! Here’s the skinny: Strong glutes = strong runner. It’s science. Here are two awesome exercises for your gluteus maximus (and a little bit of love for those hip rotators) modeled by the fabulous Ms. Tampa.
1. Second position Grand Plié:
Feet are wider than your hips with your toes turned slightly outward, about 45 º. Hold a 8-15 pound weight with both hands and tuck your hips underneath so you don’t have a severe arch in your back. Squeeze your cheeks together and straighten your legs completely.
Lean ever so slightly forward while you bend your knees and lower your butt toward the ground. Be careful to also press your knees outward as you do this so as to prevent them from collapsing inward. This will determine how low you can go. Never sacrifice form for depth!
Do 3 sets, 20-25 repetitions each if you have a light weight, 12-15 if you have a heavier weight.
Hold a weight or a ball at your chest and sit at the edge of a bench with your knees at a 90° angle. Be sure to sit up straight and tall every time you sit down and come to a fully seated position (not leaning forward).
3 sets, 20-25 repetitions each (make sure your weight is light enough for you to complete this many repetitions)
And we can’t forget about your upper body now, can we? Here is my favorite version of a bent-over row. It rocks the balance, posture and strength that every one of us needs in world where we hunch over our computers all day long.
3. Balancing Bent-Over Rows:
Balance on one leg with the other as high as you can get it in the air (preferably at hip-height). Keep your chest pushing toward the mirror and place a weight in the hand opposite to the foot on which you are standing. Draw your shoulder back and bend your elbow until you reach the full range of your motion (trying to touch your shoulder blade to your spine). Release the weight down. Switch sides.
3 sets, 12-15 reps with a moderately heavy weight.
Phew! Now that you’ve got three new exercises to add to your already fabulous cross-training routine, it’s time for a run. Round of applause for Ms. Tampa who is headed for another kickin’ workout tonight!
Now go out and run!