It’s a most wonderful time of the year! I’m not talking about the holidays – I’m talking about the Ironman World Championships! Last week I was in Kona, Hawaii. I spent the first half of the week cramming my brain full of information at the USA Triathlon Level II Endurance Clinic.
Next, I was a spectator at the IRONMAN World Championships!
During the certification clinic, there was a big block of training on strength. We spent a bunch of time talking about glute strength and why glutes are weak (too much sitting on our glutes at our 9 to 5’s, among other reasons). I took a lot of notes and thought fondly about some of the glute exercises my athletes and boot camp participants would soon be enjoying.
The following night, the conversation rolled around to glute strength yet again. When my husband and I were leaving the resort where we were dining, we walked past the Evening of Champions dinner and I overheard a conversation about glute strength. Before you start wondering if I’m an eavesdropper, understand that this conversation was projected loudly via microphone. As I was not attending the dinner, I edged up to the lava rock wall separating me from the speakers and peered down at the men having the conversation. I had to slap my hand over my mouth to not laugh when six-time Ironman World Champion and triathlon legend Dave Scott told the crowd that when he started working with Craig Alexander that Craig’s glutes felt like a bowl of butter. WHAT??? Craig Alexander, three-time Ironman World Champion, wasn’t a complete hardbody? HE had something to improve? He could make his amazing run even better by working on glute strength?
So, my question is – when’s the last time you thought about strengthening your glutes? Ever wonder if they’re ‘firing’ when you run? I won’t ask about the glutes of butter because that’s between you and your coach. But have a conversation with your coach about glute strength and if you could improve your glute strength during the off-season. Ask for some glute-specific exercises.
There are many ways to focus on and strengthen your glutes. Have you tried a barre class or a Pilates class? Yikes! Amazing stuff. Sometimes I don’t want to leave my house to work on my glute strength so my living room becomes my gym!
Here are some of my favorite glute exercises. Done correctly, these exercises target my glutes and help strengthen them.
Ask your coach what exercises would help your glute strength!