Activating the Gluts to Barefoot Transition Safer

My youth TOTT runners all seem to have the same challenge:

* how to fire consistently from the gluteal muscles as part of the proper running muscle firing sequence

I have developed a series of drills designed to specifically help them achieve this. The goal is to lock in safe, efficient technique as they shift to barefoot running. These are drills that any runner can do at home or on the road (so to speak). No fancy equipment is required, in other words.  Below, you will find a sample series of exercises that may be of value:

* standing 1-leg swings (forward/backward – tightening gluts on back-swing). 10 per leg

* push-up position running action. Drive leg forward to chest & back with power & speed alternately. 60 secs

* bridge position – brace core & fire 1 leg straight out & back. Repeat with other leg. Force out from knees at same time. 6o secs

* standing low squat, alternately lift leg so that upper leg is parallel to ground. Hold for 2 count, lower & repeat with other leg. MUST forcefully contract gluts as lift leg. 60 secs

* single leg lift in running action, keeping hips square & forcefully contracting gluts. Must touch foot in exact spot of takeoff for a split second with no noise. Repeat with other leg. 6o secs/leg

Doing these daily will mentally lock in the feeling of the gluts firing as the 1st phase of the running action.  Your quads, calves & hams will follow naturally. Here’s to running light & firing correctly!


coach Jeff



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