2 Glute Exercises to Increase Your Running Speed | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

2 Glute Exercises to Increase Your Running Speed

February 12, 2014

Must See Speed Videos

When you sprint, your glute muscles work to extend your hips. If your glutes aren't in top shape, you won't put enough force behind your stride to increase your speed.

Here are two key glute exercises to increase your force and running speed. Make them part of your strength program to improve your sprint time.

45-Degree Back Extension

This is one of the most underrated exercises for speed development. When performed correctly, it works more than just your lower back; it also increases your glute strength by pulling your upper body from the top of the glute muscles. It's one of the speed-developing exercises we use in the weight room at Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, N.J. Our athletes say they can feel their glutes getting stronger as they progressively overload with this exercise.

The key is to engage both your body and your mind to control the movement, so you can use the correct muscles to run faster. It's great for developing strength at the top of the posterior chain (lower back and glutes).

Start with the 45-Degree Back Extension rather than the full hyperextension machine. That way, you will train your body to bend from the waist and not the back. Many people do this exercise incorrectly. They tend to round their backs on the eccentric phase, use the wrong muscles and wind up with back discomfort.

  • Start by descending until your upper body is just below parallel to the floor (or until you are in the shape of a number 7).
  • Come back to the starting position with your body in a straight line without using momentum. If you've done it correctly, you will feel most of the work in your lower back muscles (erector spinae), but also in your glutes.
  • By slowly lowering your upper body (eccentric contraction) you stretch the muscles of your lower back and control your movement. By exploding up to your starting point (under control) you contract those muscles.
  • Squeeze your glutes as tight as you can so your lower back is not the only part of your posterior chain putting in the work.

Start with three sets of 10 reps with a three-second pause at the top and without extra weight. The weight of your upper body places enough stress on your lower back. Once you've mastered this, perform three sets of five reps with a three-second pause at the top and a light weight.

Progressively overload this exercise as you would with a Squat, Deadlift or Bench Press. If it seems—and sometimes feels—like an easy movement, the muscles in your lower back are not as big or strong as other muscles in your body.

Reverse Hyperextension

This uncommon weight room exercise mimics the body's motion in top flight. You pull up your lower limbs from the bottom of your glute muscles.

If you have a Reverse Hyperextension machine at your facility, now is the time to use it. If you don't, you can perform this exercise with a physioball. This variation requires balance.

  • Begin in a prone (face-down) position on the physioball with your palms on the floor and your legs locked out and together, almost like you are about to perform a Superman exercise.
  • Keeping your upper body as still as possible, raise your legs in the air without bending your knees or turning your feet to the side.
  • At the top of the movement, hold for three seconds and squeeze your glutes.
  • Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position without bending your knees or turning your feet to the side.
  • Repeat.

It will be hard to progressively increase the resistance of the exercise on a physioball unless you have a partner who can offer manual resistance. Otherwise, the Reverse Hyperextension machine is the greatest way to improve the firing rate of your glute muscles.

Start with three sets of 10 reps with a three-second hold at the top, with no added weight. Your legs should be enough weight to start with, especially if you have never performed this exercise before. Make sure your feet do not turn to the side and your knees are always extended. You want to fully engage your glutes and mimic the motion of pulling your legs back, as in the top flight phase of sprinting. Once you master the movement, decrease the reps and increase the weight either with manual resistance—if you are using a physioball—or by adding weight to the machine.

Read more:

Giovanni Grassi
- Giovanni Grassi is an NSCA-CSCS-certified sports performance specialist at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he trains athletes in speed and agility...
Giovanni Grassi
- Giovanni Grassi is an NSCA-CSCS-certified sports performance specialist at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he trains athletes in speed and agility...
Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 22,617,099
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 4,327,938
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 17,701,022

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,466
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,408
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,723
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,368
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,988,602
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,504
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

Football season is nearing playoff time and it has been a long season full of wear and tear. However, in this day and age there is no offseason and...

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility