A Glute Workout for Runners to Build the Butt Strength to Power Through Your Hardest Miles

This quick circuit is a great glutes strengthener.

When it comes to working out, most runners are happy just lacing up their shoes and hitting the pavement. But slotting in a glute workout for runners alongside your regular mileage can pay big dividends. So get ready to add in some new butt exercises!

Before we get into why strong glutes matter, here’s a quick anatomy refresher. Your glutes are a muscle group consisting of three key players: your gluteus maximus, or your biggest butt muscle, as well as your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, the two smaller muscles that form your side butt. While all three muscles are important and should work together to complete various functions and movements, your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius in particular are especially important for runners looking to boost their performance and decrease their risk of injury, certified strength-and-conditioning specialist Janet Hamilton, C.S.C.S., an exercise physiologist and running coach with Running Strong in Atlanta, tells SELF. So she created a four-move glute workout for runners—which you can get all the details on below!—that does just that.

As for why butt strength matters in running? Basically, your glutes form the “seat of your power” as a runner, says Hamilton. That means the stronger your glutes are, the more powerful your stride. Moreover, since your glutes are attached to your legs, having strong glutes can help reduce your risk of lower leg injuries including “runner’s knee” (a vague term referring to a number of conditions involving the patellofemoral joint), iliotibial band syndrome, medial tibial stress syndrome (also known as shin splints), and plantar fasciitis, says Hamilton.

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