Why Activate Your Hips and Glutes Before Running?

Why Activate Your Hips and Glutes Before Running?

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In a 2014 interview with the L.A. Times, Dr. James Levine, a former Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, claimed that “sitting is more dangerous than smoking” due to the lack of movement throughout the day. It’s bad for anyone’s overall health. But, excessive sitting spells a unique kind of trouble for runners.

Glute Inhibition 101

Sitting is one of the main contributors to glute inhibition. This occurs when your gluteal muscles become inhibited, or less functional, when your standing pelvic posture isn’t aligned. This results in your hip flexors becoming chronically tight, since your hips are constantly tilted at an angle.

Think about it: You’re sitting when you’re commuting, working at a desk, watching TV, or out at a restaurant. The average American sits for 6.5 hours a day. For a runner, this constant hip flexor and glute strain not only decreases performance, but also increases the risk of acute injuries like hamstring muscle strains and chronic conditions like IT band friction syndrome.  

Hip and Glute Activation Tips

Whether you’re a sprinter, mid distance or long distance runner, hip and glute activation is one of the easiest ways to improve performance. You’ll increase your power generation and stride length while preventing injuries. It doesn't take long — and it's well worth the investment.  

Check out this video for a quick guide to hip and glute activation exercises that you can do before your next run.