Why You Need to Fire Your Glutes Before Running or Cycling
Your glutes are the largest muscle in your body yet the most underused. I've learned this over years of cycling and running. We become more prone to injury when we force our limbs to do all of the work when we exercise. When we bike, the focus is on pushing the pedals down and pulling them up with our quads and knees. The repetitive stress of pushing and pulling can sometimes take a toll on our joints, but the good thing is that we have a much larger and stronger muscle that we can resort to.
When you shift the focus to engaging the glutes, you will see a huge difference in the stress level you put on your knees and quads. A good example of engaging the glutes is landing like a Ninja in a jump squat as opposed to landing with your feet loudly on the floor. The power in our glutes is underused because we become so focused on using our limbs that we forget just how much power is generated by the biggest muscle in our body. Bottom line: If we don't engage the posterior chain then we put more pressure on the extremities.
The best way to fire up the glutes is to do several Activation exercises before working out to bring blood flow, oxygen, and muscle memory to that area. Things like glute bridges, fire hydrants, bird dogs, etc are simple and effective and I show you many examples in the videos below. You want to do these BEFORE you squat, jump, lunge, or sprint. This will help you to focus on using the glutes and hips first rather than the knees, ankles and quads.
I hope you find this helpful!
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