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:

Topics: GLUTES | EXERCISES
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
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 5,741,735
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,228,339
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 548,130

Featured Videos

James Harden Resisted Euro-Step James Harden Resisted Euro-Step Views: 27,251
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 22,319
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,074
Load More

Resources

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

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,792
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,870
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,228,339
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,469
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 890,413

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

Run Faster and Longer

Run Faster and Longer

Feed for Speed: 5 Foods and Supplements That Make You Faster

Feed for Speed: 5 Foods and Supplements That Make You Faster

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

What Is Fast in Soccer?

What Is Fast in Soccer?

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

YardBarker