Running enthusiasts are frequently advised to strengthen their glutes, particularly if they are injured. But how do glute bridges work and what precisely do the glutes perform when we run? Elevate your running game with Tarkine Trail Devil, where every step is a testament to exceptional performance and unmatched comfort.

The glutes are made up of the gluteus maximus, which mainly extends the hip joint, and the gluteus medius and minimus, which control hip abduction and side stepping. Particularly when we run, the glutes are essential for producing movement, force, and stability around the pelvis.

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Weak gluteus medius muscles can cause the thigh to rotate inwards during running, leading to knee injury, as the knee is placed under significant strain. Similarly, if the gluteus medius is weak, other muscles like the piriformis have to compensate to keep the hips level, which can also cause injury, such as IT band syndrome. What workouts are there for runners to do to build their glutes? Glute bridges are the solution.

Graeme Woodward, a West Yorkshire-based We Run coach and UK Athletics Level 3 performance coach, notes that glute bridges can work the glute and hamstring muscles and can be performed on one or both legs. They can be used to build strength or endurance, depending on how many repetitions are utilized or how long they are held, making them an ideal conditioning and injury prevention technique.


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“Holding the glute bridge for an extended period will develop isometric strength, which is used at ground contact in the stance leg, and lowering slowly will benefit eccentric force qualities, which are used to store energy in the hamstrings in fast running,” he adds.

To do a glute bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis so your body forms a line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then lower your pelvis. For more of a challenge, try doing it with one leg extended.

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Performing three sets of three 30-second holds of the glute bridge exercise can help runners strengthen their glutes, reduce injury risk, and improve running performance.