Every running magazine or blog has at one point or another told you to improve glute strength for better running. And with good reason too.
The Glute Medius plays a huge role in the running gait both in injury prevention and performance.
Its main job in the stance phase of running is to stabilise and maintain the position of the standing hip/pelvis complex as seen in the attached pic.
Without it then the opposite side drops as seen and other muscles and joints incur increased load and stress.
The second pic attached shows a weak left glute medius during running using our Kinetisense Software. The 9.4′ drop of the right hip during left stance phase matched with the left-sided shift of weight is something we needed to focus on with this runner to prevent left knee pain.
The go to strengthening of this part of the running phase has generally been the Clamshell Exercise. To be honest IM not a big fan of this exercise. It does provide strength to the isolated area but it doesn’t integrate any of the newly developed strength into your running.
One principle I try to stick to when rehabbing and developing performance strength is
– Isolate then Integrate –
Basically, strengthen and then strengthen it the way we use it
With regards to the running and the glute medius a great way to do this is with Banded Squats.
Check out the Video of both of these here