Thursday Training Tip: 30 Day Hip Flexor and Glute Strength Challenge

Hip Flexor and Glute strength for runners

A reader recently reached out to me through my Facebook page and asked me if I could share the 30 Day Hip Flexor and Glute Strength Challenge workout schedule that I completed last year whilst I was recovering from a calf injury.

Strength training is an important part of being a runner. It helps prevent injuries and can make you a better runner overall. Adding glute strength exercises and hip flexor stretches into your strength routine will help you build strength in this key area and hopefully reduce your chance of lower limb injuries caused by a weak gluteal area. For more detailed information on why your glutes are so important you can check out my post here.

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Should you do a 30 Day Hip Flexor and Glute Strength challenge?

Before we start, here’s a quick word of advice: A 30 Day Challenge is meant to be hard, but completing one should never come at the expense of your other training, and should never replace a ‘whole body’ strength session done to keep everything in tune. Instead think of it as a way to improve on a particular area you are weak in, or as something you could consider doing if you aren’t currently running much.

I did this particular challenge when I wasn’t running (due to injury recovery) so I was able to add it to my usual core routine without over-training. That said, it was still a tough challenge and by the end of it I was struggling to keep up, even with splitting the big days into a morning and evening workout.

If you’re still running when taking on this challenge, halve the number of squats (though keep the stretches the same). If you’re training heavily for a race, think carefully if this is the right thing for you at all, or try only a quarter or a third of the squats listed.

Now, just because it’s a 30 day challenge that doesn’t mean you should stop after the last day. The big benefit of these sorts of challenges is it makes you strong enough and confident enough to add the exercise into your normal strength training routine. After you finish the challenge, keep it up and make the squats you’ve learnt in the challenge part of your normal routine.

And finally – It’s hard. The early days might seem easy but they build up quick. If you’re struggling to keep up, don’t worry about it. Take an extra rest day and pick up where you left off. Making sure you increase your efforts at a pace your body can cope is much more important than doing it within 30 days!

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30 Day Hip Flexor and Glute Strength challenge – Get Squatting

The schedule is based around the bodyweight squat and split squat – great all-rounder exercises – as well as two basic stretches for your hip flexor and glute. For those who are new to the exercises click the links in the text to watch some videos of correct form. The schedule also introduces many different types of squats, of various complexity. I’ve included links to the videos in the text, but if the exercises are causing you more than normal fatigue-based pain when you’re doing them, stop and reassess your technique. If a particular one just isn’t working for you, replace it with a bodyweight squat.

Babies are natural squatters!

Babies are natural squatters!

30 Day Hip Flexor and Glute Strength challenge – Lets do it!

Day 1:
1) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
2) 10 squats
3) 10 split squats each side
4) 20 squats
5) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side

Day 2:
1) 10 squats
2) 10 split squats each side
3) Runners World Glute strength video
4) 20 squats
5) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
6) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side

Day 3:
1) 10 squats
2) 10 split squats each side
3) Runners World Glute strength video
4) 25 squats
5) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
6) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side

Day 4: REST DAY
1) Hip flexor stretch 30 seconds each side
2) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Foam roller hip flexor stretch 30 seconds each side
4) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
5) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side

Day 5:
1) 20 squats
2) 10 split squats each side
3) 10 one legged squats each side
4) 5 Bulgarian split squats each side
5) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
6) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side

Day 6:
1) 25 squats
2) 10 split squats each side
3) 10 one legged squats each side
4) 5 Bulgarian split squats each side
5) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
6) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side

Day 7:
1) 20 squats
2) 10 split squats each side
3) 10 one legged squats each side
4) 10 Bulgarian split squats each side
5) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
6) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side

Day 8: REST DAY
1) 10 one legged squats each side
2) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
4) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
5) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 30 seconds each side

Day 9:
1) Fitness Blender 10×10 challenge
2) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
4) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 30 seconds each side

Day 10:
1) 35 squats
2) 15 Plié squats
3) 10 split squats each side
4) 10 one legged squats each side
5) 10 Bulgarian split squats each side
6) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
7) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 30 seconds each side

Day 11:
1) 25 squats
2) 15 Plié squats
3) 10 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 10 ski squats
6) 10 Bulgarian split squats each side
7) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
8) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 30 seconds each side

Day 12: REST DAY
1) 10 one legged squats each side
2) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
4) Glute stretch, 45 seconds each side
5) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 13:
1) 25 squats
2) 15 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 10 ski squats
6) 10 Bulgarian split squats each side
7) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
8) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 30 seconds each side

Day 14:
1) 25 squats
2) 15 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 ski squats
6) 10 Bulgarian split squats each side
7) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
8) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 15:
1) 30 squats
2) 15 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 ski squats
6) 10 Bulgarian split squats each side
7) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
8) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 16: REST DAY
1) 30 squats
2) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
4) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
5) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 17:
1) 30 squats
2) 15 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 ski squats
6) 10 Bulgarian split squats each side
7) Gluteus medius workout
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 18:
1) 30 squats
2) 15 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 20 ski squats
6) 15 Bulgarian split squats each side
7) Gluteus medius workout
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 19:
1) 30 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 20 ski squats
6) 15 Bulgarian split squats each side
7) Runners World Glute strength video
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 20: REST DAY
1) 15 squats, 15 Plié squats
2) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
4) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
5) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 21:
1) 30 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 side leg lifts each side
6) 20 ski squats
7) 15 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Runners World Glute strength video
9) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
10) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 22:
1) 30 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 20 side leg lifts each side
6) 20 ski squats
7) 15 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 23:
1) 30 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 10 side lunge squats each side
6) 20 side leg lifts each side
7) 15 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 24: REST DAY
1) 10 one legged squats each side, 10 side lunges each side
2) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
4) Half Pigeon yoga pose 30 seconds each side
5) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 25:
1) 30 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 side lunge squats each side
6) 20 side leg lifts each side
7) 15 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side
10) Half Pigeon yoga pose 30 seconds each side

Day 26:
1) 30 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 side lunge squats each side
6) 25 side leg lifts each side
7) 15 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side
10) Half Pigeon yoga pose 30 seconds each side

Day 27:
1) 30 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 side lunge squats each side
6) 25 side leg lifts each side
7) 20 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side
10) Half Pigeon yoga pose 30 seconds each side

Day 28: REST DAY
1) 10 one legged squats each side, 10 Plié squats
2) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
3) Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds each side
4) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
5) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side

Day 29:
1) 40 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 15 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 side lunge squats each side
6) 25 side leg lifts each side
7) 20 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side
10) Half Pigeon yoga pose 30 seconds each side

Day 30:
1) 40 squats
2) 20 Plié squats
3) 20 split squats each side
4) 15 one legged squats each side
5) 15 side lunge squats each side
6) 25 side leg lifts each side
7) 20 Bulgarian split squats each side
8) Glute stretch, 30 seconds each side
9) ‘up the wall’ hip flexor stretch 45 seconds each side
10) Half Pigeon yoga pose 30 seconds each side

 

I hope you enjoyed the challenge and have noticed a real increase in strength through your gluteal area and an increased range of movement through your hip flexors. Don’t forget to keep up the exercises as part of your usual strength routine!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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About getgoing-getrunning

Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on September 4, 2014, in Strength Training, Thursday Training Tip and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. LOVE this! And squats. Squats are a runners friend! Great workouts!!!! 🙂

  2. Wow, great post Bernie. Links and all. I may try this as I think it would help some of my issues. I like running, but not all the extras. 🙂 Time is always a challenge for me, but this looks doable. Thanks!

    • Cheers Tom. It certainly helped me with my calf injury – glute weakness was causing calf overuse – and I found having stronger glute and hamstring meant my quads didn’t get so trashed on long runs. Hope it helps for you as well.

  3. Just reading the schedule made my glutes hurt! It will be a great thing to try if I end up sidelined from training.

  4. Love this! I definitely feel some weakness and tightness in my glutes and hips that probably hinder my running.

  5. I completed the challenge last year and wrote some tips here, https://fitfor365.wordpress.com/30-day-squat-challenge-tips/ good luck!

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