Use these 4 muscle-building exercises to improve your running and strengthen your glutes

a woman running through a park in running shorts and a sports bra
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If you’re a runner doing all the right things to improve your performance—such as taking time to warm up properly, varying your sessions and making sure you consume enough carbs before and after your long runs — but still feel like you're at a bit of a standstill with your progress, it might be time to carve out some time in your training regime for strength training. A fine way to start this is with your glutes.

The workout comes from Jimmy Pipe, a physio who specializes in strength and conditioning exercises for runners. His glute strengthening routine for runners does require a few pieces of strength training equipment but nothing you will struggle to find in a gym. The workout requires access to a barbell, bench, a pair of dumbbells and a set of the best resistance bands, which preferably includes a long and mini band.

Want to find out the moves? Read on. 

What is the glute workout for runners?

This glute focused workout only involves four exercises. While Pipe doesn't specify what rep range to use for each exercises, you can easily turn this into a workout that suits your needs. 

As a rough guide to get you started, aim for around 8 to 15 reps and between two to four sets in total. This range will help promote muscular endurance which is advantageous when trying to sustain your performance in long or particularly demanding runs.

Quickly, before we run you through the exercises below, the primary goal of strength training for runners is to improve muscular endurance and stability, rather than hypertrophy. Therefore, opting for lighter to moderate weights with higher repetitions is often more beneficial.

  1. Barbell hip thrusts
  2. Dumbbell split stance RDLs
  3. Banded split squats
  4. Banded lateral raise

Check out Pipe's demonstrations below to help you master the correct form for each move.

The four strength training exercises in Pipe's routine are tailored to enhance strength, stability, and mobility— all of which are crucial components for runners. 

Barbell hip thrusts target the gluteus maximus, which will assist in generating more power and hip stability in your running strides. 

The dumbbell split stance RDLs will help to enhance single-leg stability, strengthening the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, important muscles that aid in maintaining proper alignment and preventing injuries. 

When you jump into the banded split squats, you'll feel the booty burn intensify. This exercise engages the glutes and quadriceps and the band provides constant tension throughout the movement, making the muscles work harder to overcome the resistance.

Finally, by placing the band above the knees in the lateral raises you will activate the hip abductors, which are essential for maintaining proper hip alignment and stability during running.

Integrating this workout into your regular training routine is a good way to develop the necessary strength and resilience that your lower body requires to support your running goals, while minimizing the risk of injury.

But don't overdo it, especially if you are following a demanding plan via one of the best running apps. Adequate rest is essential for allowing the body to repair and adapt to training stress. Incorporating rest days into your training schedule and prioritizing your sleep will also play a key role in helping you avoid injury and improve your performance.

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Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.