Glute & core conditioning circuit for runners

main pic 1

It’s a well-known fact that runners need a strong core and solid glutes to help maximise running economy. Most physiotherapists and strength and conditioning coaches will advise doing various exercises to help keep your core and glutes strong in order to help prevent injuries as well. Not only that, but these areas of the body, particularly in running, support your every move.

When we run, our glutes keep our pelvis level and propel us forward as we drive one foot in front of the other. Strong glutes will help you to generate a more powerful stride though a strong hip extension.

If your hips are wobbly or your core is weak, you’re wasting valuable running energy through those areas. That wasted energy should be put into getting a greater stride which can ultimately help you get faster!

As part of my strength sessions I do a core and a glute circuit as accessory work to compliment the rest of my strength work and running sessions. I like to think of it as part of my general body maintenance.

I do 3 sets of each circuit and between 12-15 reps for each exercise.

I’ve detailed them below, give them a try and let me know what you think!

Glute circuit:3 sets of 12-15 reps each leg. Do all of the exercises on one leg before switching to the other leg. 

Side lying clams:
clams 1
Lie on your side and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle/just under. Keeping your feet together, hinge and lift your knee up as far as you can. Squeeze the glute to keep it engaged and try to keep your hips facing forwards as much as possible.

Side lying straight leg raise:
hip lift 1
Lie on one side with your legs out straight. Rotating the foot slightly to engage the glutes, lift the top leg up as high as you can until you feel it in your glute. Lower it back down slowly and that’s one rep.

Prone hip extensions:
prone hip 1
Lying on your front, place either a rolled up towel or rolled up yoga mat underneath your hips. Bend one leg to a 90 degree angle and leading through your heel, lift your leg up and squeeze your glute at the top before lowering back down slowly.

Side lying recovery position leg lifts:
recovery lift 1
Lie on your side once again and put your leg across your body in a 90 degree angle, similar to the recovery position. Lift your leg up so it’s level with your hip again before lowering back down. That’s one rep.

Single leg hip lift:
hip lift 2
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat to the floor about hip width apart. Take one leg off the ground and straighten it completely before lifting your hips up, driving through the heel of your foot that’s still on the floor. Finish the movement at the top by squeezing the glutes before lowering down to start the next rep.

Donkey kick:
donkey kick 1
Start with your hands and knees about hip width apart and then lift one leg up, keeping it bent at a 90 degree angle. Push through your heel and squeeze your glutes at the top. Really concentrate on squeezing your glutes and using hip extension to lift the leg rather just swinging it up and down aimlessly.

Now on to the core circuit. Do 3 sets of between 12-15 reps. I use a Swiss ball for this circuit but you could also use valslides or a TRX.

Swiss ball pikes:
pikes
Start in a plank position with your feet on top of the Swiss ball. Using your core, keep your legs as straight as possible and try to pull your feet towards you as you bend at the hips, so that your hips are stacked over your shoulders.

Swiss ball knee tucks:
knee tucks
Start in the plank position with your feet on the ball once again. Similar to a pike, use your core to bring your knees in as close to your chest as possible before rolling back out to the plank position again. As you roll back out, try not to let your back arch, keep a hollow body position by tilting your pelvis.

Swiss ball mountain climbers:
mountain climbers
These are harder than they look, trust me! You can do mountain climbers with or without a Swiss ball but add the Swiss ball for an extra challenge. When using the Swiss ball to do mountain climbers the key is to keep that hollow body position and bring your knees in slowly in a controlled manner until your knee touches the ball.

Swiss ball hamstring curls:
hammy curls
Lie on your back and straighten your legs out, putting your feet on top of the Swiss ball to lift your hips. Keep your hips lifted as high as possible and engaging your hamstrings and core, bring the ball in slowly towards your bum. Roll out until your legs are straight again, keeping your hips lifted for the whole rep.

Advertisements

Delicious low carb tortilla pizzas

No stodge, healthy pizzas – yes you heard me! 

pizza

Oh pizza! You can be a calzone, a deep dish or a crispy thin creation and I’ll still love you no matter what. However you’re served up you’ll always hold a special place in my heart!

So as you can probably tell, I love pizza! In my quest to be able to eat them a couple of times a week I’ve come up with this recipe. This pizza is low carb and you can make it as healthy as you desire. We’ve all been there when we’re looking at a menu in a restaurant and like the toppings on one but want to add some from another but with this recipe you can! You’re in control of what you want to throw on there so go ahead and chuck on whatever toppings your heart desires! That said, these are meant to be healthy pizzas so you are in control of how healthy you make them as well.

These actually feel as though you’re eating a “real” pizza with a delicious thin and crispy base topped with plenty of tasty offerings; you forget you’re not tucking into the real thing. Another plus is that they take no time at all to make and bake.

You will need:
– Wholemeal tortilla wraps
– Tomato purée
– Buffalo mozzarella
– Basically any toppings you want! I topped mine with chicken, olives, sundried tomatoes and loads of veggies.

To make:
– Pre-heat the oven to about 180 degrees.
– Get a wrap and spread the tomato purée all over one side of it followed by a few slices of mozzarella. – Add the rest of your toppings.
– Pop the wrap on a foil covered baking tray (this just lets it slide off and on to your plate more easily) and bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes until the wrap has begun to crisp up and the cheese has melted.

Voilà, that’s literally it! Enjoy your pizza and let me know what you like to top yours with!

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram using #hannahshappypace

Boost your run with adistar boost

Adidas ESM shoes

Some girls get flowers and others get jewellery.  I get peanut butter and new trainers!

Yes, these amazing Adidas trainers were my valentines present from Dane and they arrived just a few days ago thanks to a super speedy (free) delivery from Adidas.

I did a lot of shopping around and gait analysis before deciding on the adistar Boost ESM trainers in Flash Pink to match my Hannah’s Happy Pace colour scheme.

I tried on what seemed like hundreds of pairs of trainers but these were the clear winner. A close second were the Adidas grete 30 boost trainers which were possibly the lightest trainers I have ever put on my feet but the adistar boosts felt strong enough to support me through my marathon training.

Here’s what they’re all about…

The shoe offers the best support for a natural foot strike to prevent any pronation and has a TORSION® SYSTEM inbuilt for midfoot stability.

The upper lining of the shoe offers support and comfort and is completely seamless. I’ve also got quite wide feet so finding trainers which accommodate for that can be hard but these were the perfect fit.

The midsole features the much talked about Adidas boost technology which is alleged to give energy back with every stride to help you feel light and fast when running.

Adidas say: “Boost features thousands of visible energy capsules that store and unleash endless energy every time your foot hits the ground.”

The toe of these curves up slightly and at first it took me a while to get used to it but I found that it does actually help you spring forward and gives you power back, just like the description said it would.

The shoe is solid and there’s not a seam out of place. My feet, ankles and legs felt totally secure and supported yet I didn’t feel like I was running in a heavy shoe at all.

I took mine for a spin at the weekend and completed a quick 10 miles (my goal sub 3.30 marathon pace) and they were amazing!

Normally I wouldn’t do more than 10k when breaking in new trainers but these felt as though they were made for my feet. I realise that might not be the same for everyone but I’d highly recommend them if you want a stable yet light training shoe that’s going to be able to do the miles whilst you maintain your speed, if not get quicker thanks to the Boost technology!

Here are the other vital stats:
– Weight: 265g (Size UK 5.5)
– They have a grippy rubber outsole
– They come in colours Flash Pink, Zero Met and Clear Grey
– Start at size 3.5 (UK) right up to size 9.
– They have a breathable mesh lining.
– External heel counter for best heel fit and comfort.
– £130
FREE Adidas delivery until March 22 – so what are you waiting for go and order some to #boostyourrun 🙂