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5 exercises to activate glutes and hips that the pros love

How to get strong like Emma Coburn, Colleen Quigley and Natasha Wodak

Woman doing lunges in a gym, crop

Activation, or pre-hab, is a runner’s secret to success. Especially when many people sit for the majority of the day, working some lengthening and strengthening into your weekly routine can yield big benefits for your running long-term. The glutes and hips play a huge role in a runner’s mobility. If you’re feeling tight, here are several exercise variations that the pros are doing to facilitate both movement and strength through their core.

RELATED: 6 strengthening exercises for glutes and hamstrings

Colleen Quigley’s knee drive

Quigley writes on Instagram, “Drive that knee! Pop up! Engage the glute! Foot flexed! Back straight! Do you ever feel like there’s a million things to think about for just a “simple” gym exercise? My best advice is to think about one thing at a time, master that, then move to the next.”


Emma Coburn’s hip flexor marches

With this exercise, focusing on bringing your leg to 90 degrees and keeping your foot dorsiflexed.


Aisha Praught-Leer’s core extensions

The wheel (ab roller) is a tool for so much more than core strength. This exercise (as Praught-Leer mentions), engages the entire core along with hips and glutes.


Natasha Wodak’s dead bugs

The leg extension in this exercise means that it recruits your hip flexors. Try it unweighted to start and then work your way up to weighted sets with five or ten pounds.


Kate Grace’s hurdle drills

Hurdle drills don’t require any equipment and are one of the easiest ways to improve glute and hip mobility. You can use and actual hurdle and bring your leg over the top or do as Grace does and just pretend you’re clearing a barrier.