Running requires tremendous strength in your lower body. If you can strengthen them properly, your risk of getting injured becomes way less.

Strengthening your lower body muscles will also improve your running performance.

Today I will provide you with 13 best hamstring and glute strengthening exercises for runners that will make the most difference in your performance.

If you are getting injured often, or you cannot speed up your running, give these exercises a try. You will surely benefit from it.

Related: 

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Hamstring And Glute Strengthening Exercises For Runners Thumbnail-min

Hamstring and Glute exercises for runners

Below are the steps of all those 13 exercises along with the number of repetitions you should perform.

However, based on your fitness level increase or reduce the number of repetitions.

You can incorporate these exercises for your leg day. Also, don’t attempt all of them together – start with 5 of them and build it from there.

Otherwise, this will be very tough for you and you may not want to do them at all.

So, without further ado, let’s start…

Glute Bridge

Image Curtsy: coachmag.co.uk

1. Glute Bridge

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Thighs, Hips, Core, and Hamstrings

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back

Steps:

  • Lie down with your back on the mat.
  • Bend your knees and your feet are flat on the mat shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your arms at the side with your palms facing down.
  • Lift your hips off the ground till your hips, knees, and shoulders are in a straight line.
  • Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your core tightened.
  • Hold the pose for 15-20 secs.
  • Gradually lower your hips to the ground.
  • Do this exercise 10-15 times.
  • Do this for 3 sets with 30 secs rest in between sets.
Single Leg Glute Bridge

Image Curtsy: womenshealthmag.com

2. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Thighs, Hips, Core, Hamstrings, and Lower back

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Strengthens your core.
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back

Steps:

  • Lie down with your back on the mat.
  • Bend your knees and your feet are flat on the mat shoulder width apart.
  • Your feet should be a bit ahead of your glutes (12-16 inches)
  • Keep your arms at the side with your palms facing down.
  • Lift your right leg up in the air at hip level with foot flexed. (If you cannot lift so much, lift it as much as possible and work on it).
  • Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your core tightened.
  • Lift your hips off the ground with the help of your glutes and left heel, till your hips, knees, and shoulders are in a straight line.
  • Hold the pose for 15-20 secs.
  • Gradually lower your hips to the ground.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this exercise 10-15 times. (One count = Left + Right leg)
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest in between sets.
Donkey Kicks

Image Curtsy: spotebi.com

3. Donkey Kicks

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Core and shoulder muscles.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes
  • Stabilizes your core
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back

Steps:

  • Start on your all fours
  • Hands should be directly under your shoulders and knees directly under hips, shoulder width apart.
  • Engage your core and make sure that your spine is in a neutral position.
  • Keeping your core engaged and your knees bent slowly raise right leg to your hip level using your glutes.
  • Squeeze your glutes and hold your form for couple of seconds
  • Lower your leg to the ground and repeat with other leg.
  • Do this for 10-15 counts (One count = Left+right)
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest between the sets.

4. Dumbbell Donkey Kicks

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Core and shoulder muscles.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes
  • Stabilizes your core
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back
  • Tones your glutes, core, arms and shoulders.

Steps:

  • Start on your all fours and place a dumbbell at the crease of your right knee. (use a weight you are comfortable with).
  • Hands should be directly under your shoulders and knees directly under hips, shoulder width apart.
  • Engage your core and make sure that your spine is in a neutral position.
  • Keeping your core engaged and your knees bent slowly raise right leg until you feel your glutes are engaged.
  • You should keep your foot flexed and slowly pulse it towards the ceiling.
  • You should squeeze your glutes while pulsing.
  • Use your hips for this movement and don’t use your torso.
  • Pulse for 10-15 times and then repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest between the sets.

5. Weighted Bridge

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Core and shoulder muscles.

Benefits:

  • Relieves back pain.
  • Reduces knee pain.
  • Stronger and rounder butt.
  • Strengthens lower back.
  • Improves posture.
  • Helps you to run faster.

Steps:

  • Start by lying on the mat with your face up.
  • Bend your knees and your feet are on the mat and hip width apart.
  • Place weights on your hips (use a weight you are comfortable with).
  • Engage your glutes and lift your hips till your knees, hips and shoulder are in a straight line.
  • Hold for a moment.
  • Slowly lower your hips on the mat.
  • Repeat 10-20 times.
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest between the sets.

6. Reverse Plank

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Shoulder, Core, Lower Back, Obliques and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Tones your arms and shoulders
  • Strengthens lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and all the muscles of the core
  • It improves core and spinal stabilization.

Steps:

  • Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Place your palms on the mat slightly behind and outside your hips.
  • Spread your fingers wide.
  • Lift your torso and hips towards the ceiling with the help of your palms and engaging your glutes and core.
  • Look at the ceiling.
  • Your toes should be pointing straight.
  • In this position, your entire body, from your head to toe should be in a straight line.
  • Keeping your glutes and core engaged, hold the pose for 30 seconds.
  • Lower your hips gradually to the mat.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

7. Reverse Plank with single leg lift

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Shoulder, Core, Lower Back, Obliques and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Tones your arms and shoulders
  • Strengthens lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and all the muscles of the core
  • It improves core and spinal stabilization.

Steps:

  • Get into reverse plank following the above steps.
  • Once in the pose, raise your right leg as high as possible.
  • Hold it for 30 seconds.
  • Lower your right leg and repeat with the other leg.
  • Lower your hips on the mat.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

8. Romanian Deadlifts

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Middle and Upper Back, Lower Back, Trapezius muscles, and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stabilizes hips, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and core
  • It helps prevent common running injuries.

Related: How to avoid running overuse injuries?

Steps:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells in front of your thigh with your palms facing your body. (Use a dumbbell weight comfortable to your)
  • Bend your knees slightly.
  • Push your hips back and slowly bring down the weights towards the floor.
  • Keep your spine and core straight and tight throughout the movement.
  • Using your heels return to the standing position.
  • Do this 10-20 times.

9. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Core, Middle, and Upper Back, Lower Back, Trapezius muscles, and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stabilizes hips, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and core
  • It improves your balance quickly and efficiently.
  • It helps prevent common imbalance related injuries in athletes.

Steps:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells in front of your thigh with your palms facing your body. (Use a dumbbell weight comfortable to your)
  • Bend your knees slightly.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground moving your foot behind you and leaning slightly forward.
  • Push your hips back and slowly bring down the weights towards the floor until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Keep your spine and core straight and tight throughout the movement.
  • Also, raising your leg behind you will help you to maintain balance.
  • Using your heels return to the standing position.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this 10-20 times.

10. Dumbbell Hamstring Curls

Muscles used: Hamstring (Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus)

Benefits:

  • Builds and strengthens hamstring muscles.

Steps:

  • Start by holding a dumbbell between your feet and lying face down on a bench or on a mat. 
  • Lift the dumbbells off and make your legs parallel to the floor.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground moving your foot behind you and leaning slightly forward.
  • Now keep lifting the dumbbell up till it points to the ceiling.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstring.
  • Do this 10-20 times.

11. Step-ups

Muscles used: Quadriceps (thigh), hamstrings, hip flexors, gastrocnemius, soleus (upper and lower calf muscles)

Benefits:

  • Builds and strengthens Quadriceps, hamstring, glutes.
  • Reduces chances of common injuries.
  • It improves balance and stabilization.

Steps:

  • Start by standing in front of a step.
  • Now step-up with your right foot.
  • Pressing through the heels straighten your right leg.
  • Move your left leg and place your left foot at the top of the step.
  • Bend your right knee and step down with your left leg.
  • Next, bring your right foot down aswell to return to the starting position.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground moving your foot behind you and leaning slightly forward.
  • Do this 10-20 times.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

12. Reverse Lunge

Muscles used: Quadriceps (thigh), gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, soleus (upper and lower calf muscles)

Benefits:

  • Balance and stability.
  • Activates your core, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Lesser stress on joints and bit more stability to front leg.

Steps:

  • Start by standing straight with hands on your hips.
  • Take a step back with your right foot.
  • Lower your hips so that your left thigh is parallel to the floor with left knee directly above your thigh.
  • Your right knee should be bent at 90 degrees and pointing towards the floor and left heel pointing towards ceiling.
  • Return to your standing position by pressing on your left heel and bringing your right foot forward.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this 10-20 times, 3-5 sets
  • 30 secs break between each set.

13. Squats

Muscles used: Quadriceps, Glutes, Adductor Magnus (Inner Thigh), Hamstrings, Erectors, Abdominals and Obliques, Upper Back and Laterals, Calves.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your core.
  • Reduces the risk of common injuries from running.
  • Strengthens your lower body.

Steps:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Shift your weight to your heels and start to push your hips into a sitting position.
  • Keep lowering your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • You should feel the sensation in your thighs and glutes.
  • Pause when your knees are over your toes, not beyond them.
  • Exhale and push up to the starting point.
hamstring and glute workout for runners. These workouts will help you to strengthen your hamstrings and glute muscles and you will not have to go to a gym. All these hamstring and glute stretches can be done at home with almost no equipment. These will make you a faster runner.

hamstring and glute workout for runners. These workouts will help you to strengthen your hamstrings and glute muscles and you will not have to go to a gym. All these hamstring and glute stretches can be done at home with almost no equipment. These will make you a faster runner.

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