Little Runner Gal

Running, eating, sleeping and all the bits in between

Awakening the Hibernating Heinie!!

on January 9, 2014

Firstly, I found this Americanism ‘Hibernating Heinie’ for the lazy arse syndrome I’ve been experiencing, and it made me chuckle so I’ve nicked it!

Secondly, massive thanks for the amazing response to my blog and in particular my Lazy Glutes posts. It seems loads of you are having the same issue. I’ve had some great feedback and some questions about how I’ve fired up the ol’ butt muscles so I thought I’d put this post together to consolidate the things I’ve been doing to engage my glutes, in the hope that this might be helpful to some.

Apparently Lazy Arse is really really common. As a species we’re not very good at using the glutes to push us forward, leaving the hard work to the calves to pull us along. This leads to all manner of injuries, as previously documented by me.

This is by no means a complete list of how to fix your arse, and I’m not PT or anything similar qualified, it’s just what seems to be working for me…see what you think!

  • Squats and lunges – we all know that they get the glutes stretched and you can feel those muscles when you do them, so I find it a good place to start.
  • Kickbacks – on all fours and extend each leg back in turn, so you can feel your glutes squeezing. I do this about 10 times on each side at a slowish pace, maybe taking 15 secs for each rep.
  • Walking across the floor using my bum – this was shown to me by my other half’s stepmum, a Pilates instructor, who also used to suffer from lazy glutes, and it’s a lot harder than it sounds! Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you and ‘walk’ forwards using solely your bum, lifting each cheek to move (rather than just shuffling!). Then do the same backwards so you’re back where you started. If you’re anything like me you might end up not quite where you started as one glute might be a bit more dominant than the other, so you kind of veer off one way or the other!! If this happens to you then please let me know as it always happens to me!
    Bum Walk
  • Hip Raises – lie on the floor with your arms by your side, knees up and bent, and, with your feet rooted to the ground, raise your hips and clench your glutes.
    Hip Raise

I do these before I go out for a run. I would think more often can only be better if you have time.

Practice registering the feeling of your glutes engaging as you’re walking…you look a bit daft but you get used to the feeling of it, cos it doesn’t always feel that natural. Then you can build it into your runs a bit at a time. I’ll be honest, it does take some thinking about. And since my brain is often otherwise occupied when running (what to have for dinner, which way I’m going, oops, mind the dog walker!) I started off trying to do it for a few strides, then building it up on each run until I could do it without thinking about it. I can really feel the push from the glutes rather than the pull from the calves when I’m doing it right.

All this has, so far, led to me upping my pace and (fingers crossed, touch wood, rub the lucky rabbit foot) warding off the dreaded calf injury.

So, those are my moves! I really hope that this helps others. Spread the word if you know anyone struggling with lazy glutes, injuries that might be from this, or hitting a brick wall when it comes to pace. And let me know how you get on.

Enjoy awakening your heinie!



6 responses to “Awakening the Hibernating Heinie!!

  1. Mary says:

    I’ve had lots of issues with my glutes this year. My right side basically lets the left side do everything so I’m always on the lookout for more glue engaging exercises and have saved these to have a go after work tonight. Thanks! 🙂

  2. paullegard says:

    I think we need a video for the bum shuffle! 😉

  3. […] runner, Jenny Jagger. She gave me some additional pointers to add to my previous post on glutes, Awakening Your Hibernating Heinie, and I’ve added them into my routine, they’re great! So take a look and squeeze a few […]

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