13 Essential Core Exercises for Runners

Fortunately, increasing hip and glute strength is relatively simple. Follow this strengthening routine that only takes 10 minutes, and you'll see improvement in as little as a few days.

Here are the exercises:
  1. Lateral Leg Raises: Lie on your right side with a theraband around your ankles. Lift your left leg to about 45 degrees in a controlled manner, then lower. I do 30 reps per side.
  2. Clam Shells: Lie on your right side with your knees together and a theraband around your lower thighs. Your thighs should be about 45 degrees from your body and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Open your legs like a clamshell but don't move your pelvis—the motion should not rock your torso or pelvic girdle. Keep it slow and controlled. I do 30 reps on each leg.
  3. Hip Thrusts: Lie on your back with your weight on your upper back. Your legs will be bent at the knee. Lift one leg so your weight is all on one leg and your back. Lower your butt almost to the ground and thrust upward by activating your glutes. This exercise is great for glute strength and hip stability. I do 25 reps on each leg.
  4. Side-Steps/Shuffle: With a theraband around your ankles and knees slightly bent, take 10 steps laterally. The band should be tight enough so it provides constant resistance during all steps. Still facing the same direction, take another 10 steps back to your starting position. That is one set. I like to do five sets. This exercise will look like a slow-motion version of a basketball "defense" drill.
  5. Pistol Squats: These are simply one-legged squats. The key to a successful pistol squat is to stay upright (don't lean forward), keep the motion slow and controlled, and make sure your knee does not collapse inward.
  6. Hip Hikes: Stand on your right foot. With your pelvis in a neutral position, drop the left side so it is several inches below the right side of your pelvic bone. Activate your right hip muscle and lift your left side back to its neutral position. I do 20 reps per side.
  7. Iron Cross: This dynamic stretch will help you feel loose after the previous strength exercises. Lie on your back with your arms out at your sides and swing your right leg over your torso and up to your left hand. Repeat with your left leg; do 20 reps total.

Perform one set of these exercises 1 to 3 times per week. Check out the video of these exercises.

More: Hip Strengthening and Mobility Exercises for Runners

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