Ward Off Dead Butt with Yoga

It’s all in the butt; even the New York Times agrees. If you’ve had an overuse injury lately, you were probably advised to strengthen your glutes. These are the largest muscles in the body (I’m not saying your rear end is big, just saying the muscles are big relatively!), and when they aren’t working right, not only are we missing out on power for the running stride, we are asking smaller, deeper muscles like the piriformis and connective tissue like the IT band to work overtime to keep the hips stable while we run.

Solution: get your glutes going. Yoga is great for this; in fact, it’s probably one of the most direct ways the asana practice complements training—more helpful, even, than stretching, which is what we often think of when we think of yoga. (We yogis know there’s so much more going on, but that’s another post.)

Before your run, include a quick dynamic warm-up to fire your glutes. This video I’ve made for YogaVibes shows one that works well even in a parking lot. (Sun salutations in a parking lot, not so great.)

Then, right after your run, when you’re warm and pretty loose, move through some lunges and standing work that targets your glutes again. This piece I wrote for Runner’s World shows one option, which I demo here.