The Gluteus Maximus muscles is the biggest muscle in your body, and if it doesn’t function properly (and subconsciously) when you ride or run, then you are going to be using other muscles to compensate.
By functioning subconsciously, I mean it should just work. You shouldn’t have to be concentrating on “keeping it switched on”.
If you do that when you run then you will probably lose focus on other, more important aspects of good running form, and if you spend too much time focusing on your glutes while you ride, you might not be taking enough notice of what is going on around you.
Cycling in Sydney is dangerous enough at the best of times, you need to be focusing on keeping the rubber side down while your glutes happily do their job.
Teaching your brain how to activate Glute Max is vital before you attempt to strengthen it, so watch this video first to make sure your brain and your glutes have a good connection
Once you have mastered this then start performing some bridge exercises to make it stronger.
This following video shows you three different methods of performing a bridge exercise. The idea is to find the method which works best for you. Everyone’s body functions slightly differently which means that exercises often need to be “tweaked” in order to get the most out of them.
A strong Gluteus Maximus is a great start, but definitely not the only thing to consider when it comes to your overall strength.
I am often asked by athletes whether they should be doing “strength work” to help their running and cycling. By “strength work” they are asking whether or not they need to be going to a gym and lifting weights. Before delving deeper into this question it is important that you understand the difference between strength and stability.
Strength is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to develop contractile force against a resistance in a single contraction.
Stability is the resistance of a muscle or group of muscles to control joint position and balance. Stability is obtained through active, passive, and neural systems.
Strength and stability are two different qualities within the human body. Just because a muscle is weak, doesn’t mean it cannot stabilise. And, just because a muscle cannot stabilise, doesn’t mean it is weak. There is a strong neural aspect to stability which ultimately places more emphasis on the brain than any one specific muscle.
To learn more about how stable you are check out this article on “Strength v Stability” and test your stability to see what you should be focusing on.
A great routine to get started on NOW is my 3 minute morning stretching ritual. This simple 3 minute routine stretches your lower back, hips, glutes, knees, calves and quads, and it also helps to mobilise or “loosen up” your sciatic nerve which runs from your lower back all the way down to the soles of your feet.
To start working on your strength, we recommend the 10 minute Essential Core Workout for Runners.
After something more advanced, then check out the 10min Kettlebell Strength Workout.
This Kettlebell Workout for Runners, has been designed to improve both your running stability, and your running strength.
The Body Mechanic have treated thousands of runners and coached them to achieve their personal best. To find out more about our full range of training plans visit The Locker Room.