Inspired by the New York Times article, When the Diagnosis Is ‘Dead Butt Syndrome, I decided to put together a yoga sequence focused on building strength in the glutes. The glutes are a powerhouse for our running by allowing us to forward in space, stablizing our hips and preventing injury. As Dr. Darrin Bright, a sports medicine physician with Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, states in this article,
“A new thought in running medicine is that almost all lower extremity injuries, whether they involve your calf, your plantar fascia or your iliotibial band, are linked to the gluteus medius. In the last five to 10 years, we’ve just realized how much of an important role the gluteus medius plays in stabilizing the hips and the pelvis in running.”
A image that the article illustrates is to imagine the pelvis as a cup and the muscles that attach to it are your glutes and your lower abs. If one or more of these muscles are weak, it puts pressure on the muscles right around the hip which can result in muscle tears, inflammation and scar tissue to develop. If the muscles are strong, the cup is able to stay in place with no consequences.
So it’s time to strengthen those glutes and wake them up! Here’s a short 20 minute yoga sequence designed to not only develop glute strength but also provide strength work to your quads, lengthening to your hamstrings and stretching for your hips. Hold each pose (unless otherwise noted for 5 rounds of breath). Enjoy and happy running!
Downward Dog (10 rounds of breath)
Plank pose (hold 10 rounds of breath) to Downward dog, repeat 3 times
3 rounds of sun salutations to warm-up the body
(tadasana, fold, flat back, plank, low push-up, upward dog, downward dog)
Keep standing leg knee deeply bent to work quads.
Bring leg back into chair position without putting the foot down. Then extend leg back to warrior 3 with bent knee. Repeat 15 times.
Fold in Pyramid (hold 10 breaths)
Standing Split (bend standing leg knee if hamstring is tight)
Cross ankle forward fold
Step back to plank
Repeat other side
1/2 pigeon pose
To keep spine long, keep moving chest forward.
Legs up the wall for savasana