Workout for Runners: Strengthening the Glutes and Hamstrings
Runners and endurance athletes often follow workout plans that blend cardio with upper body resistance training, and that’s a great mix. But counter-intuitively, a routine of this kind can actually neglect some of the important muscle groups in the legs. Leg strength doesn’t just come from running—it also comes from targeted resistance work focused on the glutes and hamstrings.
If you suffer from frequent knee injuries, your knees may not be the source of the problem. You may actually have weak glutes, or your hamstrings may not be getting enough attention. If you build leg strength in these areas, you’ll be better able to give your joints the support they need.
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Workout for Runners: Setting Up
Today on the blog, we’ll be focusing on a leg-strength-building workout for runners. For this workout, we’ll need some floor space and the KB Duo. Position the bands so that when your feet are strapped in and you’re lying on the floor, the handles hang down just below the level of your knee caps. This height will be optimal for building leg strength in the hamstrings and glutes.
Rest your feet in the suspended straps and make sure you’re lying solidly on the floor. Try to match my position in the video. For additional leg strength, you can strap the resistance bands around your legs like I’m doing here.
Workout for Runners: Creating Tension in the Legs
Start building leg strength by lifting alternate knees up toward your chest. If you keep your feet pressed into the straps, you’ll be able to raise your rear end up off the floor, bridge style. Maintain this bridge and you’ll keep the burn focused on your glutes.
In this workout for runners, technique is important. First, if you’re watching the video, notice that my body position stays balanced. If you feel unstable, stop the move and slide forward a bit under the anchor point of the bands. If you’re too far forward, slide back. Second, as you lift each knee, keep your heels squarely set in the straps. Don’t point your toes or let your feet lift out of the bands. And each time you lift, bring your knee all the way up to the 90 degree position.
When you’re getting the most out of this workout for runners, you’ll feel the burn in your rear and the backs of your legs. If the tension starts wandering to other parts of the body, bring it back. Keep the bridge high.
Workout for Runners: Final Notes
Feel free to check out the rest of the site for more information on the KBands and how they work, and in the meantime, add this leg-strength exercise to your routine, especially if your athletic performance relies on your lower body.
As always, we welcome your comments below. Enjoy the workout!