1

Favorite Strength Training Exercises for Glutes/Hills/Drive (Read 164 times)

CSP


    let me start with: I hate hills.  I know running hills will help with glutes, but they kill me and I am weak.  I'd like to work on my leg strength (partly to improve drive, stride length, and my ability to make it up a hill).

     

    What are some good exercises for glutes (and other leg exercises) that will build muscle without putting too much pressure on the knee?

     

    And, I have zero concern for building too much muscle (my body shuns muscle).

     

    I'm doing HH's HM training program so fitting Strength work into my training is easy.

    scappodaqui


    rather be sprinting

      Deadlifts.  If you can find a trap bar/hex bar it's the safest way for most new people to build strength.  Any deadlift variation works, though the variation you choose will depend upon your physiology.  If you have very long legs, for instance, sumo deadlift might be best.  Since you state your knees are a concern, straight-legged deadlift might not be a good idea.

       

      Prone hamstring curls on the machine are actually good, though they can't be the only exercise you do.

       

      The real basics for getting glutes firing include sideways walks with band around your shins while in squat position (sit WAY BACK into your hips).  Do those BEFORE you do strength training to wake up the glutes.

       

      I really recommend hip thrusts (lie on back in situp position, thrust hips up... use your GLUTES, NOT your hamstrings! you will feel if you do it wrong).  More advanced version: lift one leg straight up and do it one-legged, without letting your hips tilt.  MORE advanced still: add a load in the form of a padded barbell or sandbag over your hips.  I do these a lot and let me tell you, they help me get my glutes firing.  I like to do glute bridges before my weights workout, after the band walk, to wake up the muscles.  What I like about hip thrusts is they really don't put pressure on the knees at all; they are a HIP dominant movement.

       

      Now, as for exercises that do involve the knees, so you'll have to decide if you can do them:

       

      Step-ups onto a box while holding weights in either hand.

       

      And rear-leg elevated ("Bulgarian") split squats.

       

      Hill repeats, and hill sprints, of course, are as specific to running as it gets. Wink

       

      For your glutes, you could start with box squats (ask a trainer perhaps) rather than regular squats as they help you master the form and activate the glutes instead of overusing quads.  I also recommend goblet squats, aka squats done while holding a heavy weight to your chest, rather than with a bar on your back.  They are a good beginner method for squats and because of the counterbalance of the weight, they also help you with proper form and avoid putting weight in your knees.

      PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

      Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb

      Everydog


        Knees give me trouble also, I can do straddle squats and have seen them in some lists for best exercises for runners....better than no squats at all. I can do dead lifts all day with no knee problems , even lunges and body weight squats. It's the weighted squats that are an instant problem for some reason.

          I believe in practice in the sense of zen practice:  the best way to practice something is to do the thing you are practicing.  You can call it specificity of training, too.

           

          Fast uphill running is the best thing to make you good at fast uphill running.  Practice running up hills easily at first.  Eventually, easy will become faster.  When you are running more and have a bigger base, then you can worry about running up hills hard.

           

          Running uphills quickly doesn't put much pressure on the knee--running downhill can.  I wouldn't do hard hill repeats with the volume of running you're doing--but I would make a point of including hills in my runs.  There is nothing that will do a better job of making you good at running hills than running hills.

          "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
          Emil Zatopek

          CSP


            Thanks everyone.  Great advice.  Love deadlifts--I've been a bit 'out' the last few years and unable to train.  Glad you brought them up because I'd forgotten they were one of my favorites.

             

            On the practice recommendation--ha ha!  I'm really good at practicing running very slowly up hills : )  Was wondering if building up some muscle would help?

            scappodaqui


            rather be sprinting

              Thanks everyone.  Great advice.  Love deadlifts--I've been a bit 'out' the last few years and unable to train.  Glad you brought them up because I'd forgotten they were one of my favorites.

               

              On the practice recommendation--ha ha!  I'm really good at practicing running very slowly up hills : )  Was wondering if building up some muscle would help?

               

              People may give me grief because I'm a meathead Wink but yes, basic strength does help with speed--it's force production!  If you don't believe me, read Joe Puleo's 'Running Anatomy.'  He talks a lot about how to develop good leg strength to support running.  I don't know if 'building muscle' would help... you can build strength without putting on much, if any, mass.

              PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

              Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb

              MJ5


              Chief Unicorn Officer

                Deadlifts are great! I also love the Bulgarian split squat for glutes. I don't think you're a meathead, Scap, I think most people are just afraid of heavy lifting. I lift the same general way you do and we are pretty good runners and not built like dudes so it must work!

                Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

                  Lunges and bridges.

                  Runners run.

                    Lunges and bridges.

                     

                    Bridges?

                     

                    Never mind... (google to the rescue)

                      Heheh, building up strength for running hills is only part of the deal. The rest is learning to make that complex action efficient, and to my mind the best way to find your efficient method is practice. It doesn't take fast hill running to learn it, either. Or for that to translate to a better ability to drive in the flat. I will grant that I have not tried this against other training in the gym, only that with a modicum of success I have come to love the thing which I dreaded.

                      Jamezilla


                      Follower of Forrest

                        I like mountain climbers, not sure if that would be rough on the knees for you.

                         

                        (I already posted about mountain climbers like 2x today, so I'm done saying that if anyone is keeping score)

                        4/5 - Lost Brook Trail 10mi  1:15:42

                        4/27 - Ironmaster's Challenge 50k

                        6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 56mi


                         

                          Heheh, building up strength for running hills is only part of the deal. The rest is learning to make that complex action efficient, and to my mind the best way to find your efficient method is practice. It doesn't take fast hill running to learn it, either. Or for that to translate to a better ability to drive in the flat. I will grant that I have not tried this against other training in the gym, only that with a modicum of success I have come to love the thing which I dreaded.

                           

                          Yes there is no substitute for hill running. Strength work is more designed to stay healthy enough to withstand the training.

                           

                          I ran a lot of hills this past winter and prior but I discovered after an injury this spring that I had a fairly significant imbalance between my left and right hamstrings/glutes that was not being solved by running alone. With practice, I had become really good at "gliding" over my left leg, even while running uphill at some pretty decent clips.

                          Runners run.

                            Good to know... and you just reminded me that I've been meaning to incorporate some single leg test/retest stuff in an effort to catch that kind of thing. Thanks!


                            Dad on the run.

                              You DO NOT have to use weights. As far as my legs go I use nothing but my body weight. These are the exercises that I rotate through

                              squats, lunges (forward, back, side), jump thrust, one leg squats, frog jumps, box jumps, calf raises, jumping lunges just to name a few.

                              My parents said I could be anything when I grew up, so I decided to be Awesome!