As a runner, your quads, calves and hamstrings may be powerful, but you are lacking strength in your gluteal muscles. A common ailment among a huge proportion of runners is that the stronger muscles of the legs fire, but the glutes are not firing and sometimes not even recognised as being there. Ideally, your glutes should stabilize the pelvis. If the pelvis isn’t stabilized, you may experience a number of issues including: achilles tendinitis, knee pain or illiotibial band syndrome. Getting the glutes to fire while you run requires you to work on them outside of your running routine.
There are three gluteal muscles: maxmius, medius and minimus. The gluteus medius and minimus are located at the outer hip and enable you to abduct the hip, or move the leg away from the body, as well as assist in stabilizing the pelvis. The glutes do not propel your body forward during a run. The glutes stabalise the pelvis keeping everything further down the kinetic chain of the body in allignment.
You first need to become aware of your glutes and contract them. Without recognising and being aware of them, then you won’t be able to notice if they are firing or not when you are running. Learn how to contract your glutes by lying on the floor with your knees bent and your back straight. Squeeze your buttocks and lift it off the floor, also feel the back of your thighs lift gently from the floor.
Contact our team of specialists who will asess to see if your problems are related weak glutes. You may have other form issues or muscle imbalances impeding your running performance.