Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries that runners are confronted with. That’s not surprising - if you’re a runner, then you know how impact much your knees have to endure every time you go for a run. However, there is something you can do to prevent running-related knee injuries (aside from getting proper running shoes). You have to train your glutes!
How can training my glutes prevent running-related knee injuries?
Strength training is very important for runners. When you’re strengthening your muscles, you make it easier for yourself to run and with a correct posture. For running, some muscle groups are more important than others. While many people assume that their legs do most of the work, research proves that strengthening your glutes can actually help to prevent running-related knee injuries.
Did you know that tight hips and/or glutes are the main causes of knee pain? This particularly applies to runners, who often suffer from tight glutes due to inadequate warm-ups, not enough stretching, bad running shoes and running on uneven or unstable surfaces. Runners usually have very well-developed quads and hamstrings, but their glutes – especially their glute medius – are weak. The glute medius, however, is the stabilizer of the pelvis. In other words: by training your glutes you stabilize your hips, and therefore reduce the risk of running-related knee injuries.
What is the best way to train my glutes for running?
While compound exercises like squats can definitely help to strengthen glutes, we’d recommend runners to focus on glute isolation exercises. This is because with runners, their quads are usually much better developed than their glutes. So when you do compound exercises, your stronger quads will automatically ‘take over the load’ – resulting in your glutes still not really doing much. By doing glute isolation exercises, where you’re focussing on one specific muscle group, you basically force your glutes to wake up and get to work. And as they get stronger, the chances of getting running-related knee injuries will decrease significantly.