Are you a runner who has experienced sore quads and difficulty activating your glutes during long, flat runs? If so, you may be a victim of quad-dominant running. While this issue is fixable with the right changes to your form, there is some confusion when it comes to the advice given for weightlifting versus running.
Weightlifters are often advised to tilt their pelvis forward to activate their glutes during exercises like deadlifts. However, runners are often told to avoid anterior pelvic tilt altogether. This advice may stem from the popular Pilates-based core stability paradigm in running, which views anterior pelvic tilt as a bad thing. This is not necessarily the case when it comes to activating the glutes during running.
In fact, an anterior pelvic tilt can be essential for engaging your glutes when you run, as it allows for a forward lean that engages the glutes more effectively. The real cause of quad-dominance in running is similar to that of a squat, but the solution is more complicated due to the complex contralateral action of running.
If you’re experiencing quad-dominance during running, it’s important to focus on shifting the work from your quads to your glutes. Don’t let quad-dominance hold you back from achieving your running goals – make the necessary changes and keep on moving forward. Below are some exercises that may help.
Lie flat on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Bend one knee and raise your foot so that it’s level with the ceiling. Keeping your leg straight, lift it upwards as high as you can, squeezing the muscles in your buttocks as you go. Repeat this movement for 30 reps on each leg. This exercise can help tone your glutes and improve your overall strength and mobility.
Take a step slightly longer than usual and bend both knees as if you were preparing to lunge forward. Gradually lower your back knee until it lightly touches the ground, while keeping your front knee in line with your toes and not extending it beyond the front of your shoe. To return to a standing position, push up through the heel of your front foot. Repeat this exercise with your other leg. Aim to complete 10 repetitions for each leg and repeat the entire process for three sets. This exercise can help strengthen your legs, enhance your balance, and improve your overall fitness level.