Category Archives: Strength Training

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!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
Want to see what/where/how I’m training? View or ‘connect’ with me on my Garmin profile to see what’s been going on
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Thursday Training Tip : Strong Running Needs Strong Glutes

Most runners know that core work and general strength work is an important tool for making you a better runner and preventing injuries. Almost every book, website and forum tells us that ‘core is king’ and we need to focus on this area.

I think they are still right – I do core and general strength workouts as part of my weekly training – but due to a recent calf injury I’ve found out about the importance of strengthening your glutes to help prevent injury – particularly overuse type injuries and lower limb injuries.

The reason the glutes are so important is because they form a key link between your lower limbs and your torso, especially when running. A weak gluteal area will cause imbalances in your whole kinetic chain, increasing your risk of injury. Your glutes are also responsible for providing rearward drive through your legs. Stronger glutes mean faster turnover and faster running.

However, glutes are hard to train as most exercises don’t isolate the area, allowing other muscles to be recruited to take the load. Plus, for those with desk jobs your hip flexors are often tight due to the hours of sitting, further inhibiting activation of the glutes. Adding glute strength exercises and hip flexor stretches into your routine will help you build strength in this key area and hopefully reduce your chance of injuries caused by a weak gluteal area.

Read the rest of this entry

Two for Tuesday : And a new record

Run followed by Yoga again tonight. 

I haven’t been running much lately, and tonight I was running late and wanted to get 5km in before yoga so I had to go quick. I went out reasonably slow for the first kilometre (it was 0 degrees C after all) but once my Garmin chimed at the 1km mark I opened the taps and just RAN.

I’m not sure if it was the cool weather, the chocolate bar I ate late in the day, my recent light running load or the hip flexor and glute work I’ve been doing, but I took 55 seconds off my PB for 5km, finishing in 22:52. And that was with a first kilometre 30 seconds/km slower than the others. And it wasn’t a race. I really, honestly, have no idea where that came from. When I was running I felt good and knew it would be a good time, but it was only in the last km that I twigged it could be a PB. I certainly wasn’t expecting to take almost a minute off my PB time.

Anyway, that is more than enough self adulation. After my run was yoga. Always guaranteed to bring me back down to earth. Tonight it turned out to be literal…

Even ‘yoga fail panda bear’ did a better headstand than me. Mainly because he didn’t fall over half way through his headstand like yours truly. At least I wasn’t in the front row of the class. No, wait…

yoga-panda

Actually, I’ve just realised that I could technically claim that it’s ‘Three for Tuesday’, I did my hip flexor and glutes challenge workout this morning as well.

So there you go. 3 workouts in one day, a new PB, and a new level of yoga class embarrassment. All in all a good days work.

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
Want to see what/where/how I’m training? View or ‘connect’ with me on my Garmin profile to see what’s been going on
Like a bit of Youtube? Check out my channel with my collection of videos I use and refer to

Thursday Training Tip #2

Strength Training

Strength training is really important for improving your running and reducing the likelihood of injury.
Here is a set of strength training exercises for beginner runners from the Guardian Lifestyle running blog

Strong running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
Want to see what/where/how I’m training? View or ‘connect’ with me on my Garmin profile to see what’s been going on

Exercising when there’s no time : Or, Why am I at work this late?!?

Killer day. Stupid work. Expletives!

8.30am meeting to start the day, walked out of the office at 11.02pm. My mind is so mushy right now I’m struggling to decide if that is 14 1/2 or 15 1/2 hours. No, 14 1/2 hours.

Bleurgh. I’m writing this post on my phone in the taxi home.

I feel like opening the front door when I get home and just passing out on the doormat. But, I will exercise tonight.

I will!

I wrote it here, and knowing you will all read it keeps me honest!

So, here’s the plan…
– Get home
– Kiss girlfriend on cheek as she slumbers
– Change into shorts and t-shirt
– Turn on TV
– 1 set of ankle strength exercises
– 1 set of 20 squats
– 1 set of 20 Bulgarian squats
– 1 set of 20 Lunges
– Turn off TV
– Brush teeth
– Sleep
– Wake up, reset and reload for another day
– Crush my 8.30am client meeting
– End the week on a high

Or something like that…

See! There’s always time for exercise if you make time for it.

Happy running (or squatting) everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

Power legs workout

John from Fit For a Year posted a new challenge today. 30 days of this stuff!

I already use these exercises as part of my cross training routine to build explosive power, increase stability and strengthen my core. The jumping lunges also help with the imbalance in strength between by hamstrings/glutes and quads.

30 days straight though? No thanks…

Let’s be honest with each other. These exercises are hard – downright nasty almost. There is a teaspoon full of masochism needed to make yourself go through a full workout like this, but the completion will give you a great feeling of accomplishment.

But 30 days straight is not for me. I’ll stick to weekly/fortnightly I reckon!

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