The functionality of the glutes, for a runner, can be equated to the role performed by tires in a vehicle. But there is a differentiating factor — a car cannot move with a flat tire but a runner, sure can, with ‘sleeping glutes’. It is because the tires take the entire responsibility of carrying the weight of the car whereas, the glutes, tend to overload the other muscle group without involving or engaging themselves to their optimal capacity while, at the same time, feeling rested and refreshed when not engaged to the maximum.
The concept of ‘sleeping glutes’ is a fairly new concept in the world of human living. With two major lifestyle contributors:
- Being desk bound for hours, months and years from childhood to adulthood and
- Increasing number of recreational runners, majority of whom have a desk bound lifestyle
These two deadly combinations fuel injuries among the runners. The legs, which stay locked at 90o angles for hours on end have resulted in:
- The hip joints losing its optimal movement (after all it is ball and socket joint and is supposed to move in all directions)
- The hamstrings becoming passive and
- The glutes which were meant to be firing in action, have become sluggish in their response and engagement
These postural misalignment, developed over a period of time, are automatically transferred into the running form, how much ever a runner tries to affect his / her running form, leading to multiple injuries.
Diagnose your glute strength with Vyagrasana (Tiger Pose)
Just one posture when performed repetitively for around 20 rounds is capable of tiring your glutes, if it is weak, otherwise, you have strong glutes and most probably they are engaging optimally during your run.
This one posture will not only help check the strength of your glutes but at the same time, can also help strengthen it. You can start with a count of 15 (in case you have weak glutes and gradually built up on that count):
As a beginner
|Perform two rounds of 15 & 10||Practice thrice a week|
|Perform three rounds 15, 12 & 10||Practice thrice a week
|Perform three rounds of 18, 15 & 12||Practice thrice a week|
|Perform three rounds of 20 each||Practice thrice a week|
You can slowly build up on this and can go to performing 30 rounds of two to three sets. Let the progress be gradual. With regular practice, you will witness an amazing improvement in your running form within a span of few weeks.
Many runners suffer from sciatica. Non-engagement of glutes is possibly one of the reasons for that as well. Practicing Vyagrasana can help you get over sciatica as this is one of the most recommended for that.
A simple way of getting toned up butt
So, go on, test yourself, practice, and share your experience.
Discover Yoga Discover Yourself
Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.