Tis the Season to Work Your Glutes




Written by Elizabeth Kovar on .

The glutes are known to be one of the most powerful muscles of the body; however, the glutes are sometimes the weakest in the body. This is due to the fact that humans sit long periods of time, which in turn creates tight hip flexors.  Winter sports such as downhill / cross country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing require endurance and strength from the legs and gluteus to perform a desired duration of exercise.
Below are three glute exercises that are beneficial to incorporate into an exercise regimen.
Glute Bridges
Targets: Gluteus Maximus
Lie on your back, and place heels near the glutes.  Arms are on the floor by the side. Lift the pelvis and the spine off the floor and hold into this “bridge”.  Hips should be a bit higher than the chest and keep the glutes and hamstrings contracted. To progress the exercise, you can either keep one foot on the floor or place the arms in the air with the hands in level with the shoulders. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat three to five times.
Clam Shells  
Targets: Glute Medius / External Rotators
Lie on your side with your legs bent at 90* at the knee. Keep the feet stacked, and lift your top knee off the bottom.Slowly lower to center and repeat this motion. Essentially, your legs represent a clam shell opening and closing. To progress the exercise, place a band around both legs just above the knees on the lower quadriceps. Complete 2-3 sets 15 reps.
All Fours Leg Lift
Targets: Gluteus Maximus
Place yourself onto all fours. Lift your right leg to 90* to where the knee is in level with the glute. Next, lift your right foot up toward the ceiling to where there is a contraction in the right glut/hamstring. Continue this motion on the right leg before switching sides. Complete 2-3 sets 15 reps on each leg.
To find winter specific conditioning, check out your local facility to see offerings of ski / winter conditioning.