The coveted runners butt…is it real?

I spend a lot of my time in contact with peoples butts. It goes with the job!

I think runners butt is a myth.

Unfortunately, many runners, in fact, many people tend to be quad dominant which means their gluts (butts) are not as active as they should be. People can do as many squats and dead lifts as they want but until there is a good balance through the hips it wont be very effective.

I have been blessed with a reasonably muscular butt…lucky me! However, after my first year of running a funny thing happened. I started feeling my butt jiggling as I was running, at first I thought it was just my pants. I did what any good Vancouverite would do and went to Lululemon, it helped for a bit. Then I started lifting weights lunges, step ups, squats you name it I was doing it. Still, something wasn’t quite right. Some time passed, I mostly ignored it, and then I started getting that knee pain I talked about previously. This is when I freaked out and decided to see a personal trainer.

I went to twist sport conditioning. They taught me the importance of warming up, recruiting the proper muscles, core engagement, and the all important posterior line. This is the embarrassing part, turns out I had no idea how to actually activate my gluts.

One day my trainer was teaching me a proper step up.

How hard can it be?

Step up…exercise done!


After a few tries something funny happened, my gluts fired. Could it be that all this time I’ve been doing them wrong?

I know more about muscles than most and yet I had never felt a proper glut activation…embarrassing! Over time I could tell my gluts were getting stronger, my jeans were a little more snug on my butt and there was less jiggling when I ran. Also, I was running faster and getting less muscle fatigue on my long runs.

I was getting runners butt!

Although, can you call it runners butt if it was actually weight training that made it all happen?

Gluteus Maximus

  1. Your glut max is the largest and most superficial of the three gluteus muscles.
  2. Its large size is one of the most characteristic features of humans, its what helps us keep an upright posture.
  3. Its job is to extend the hip and stabilize the pelvis.

Signs you might have inhibited Gluts

  1. Low back pain
  2. Knee pain
  3. Core instability
  4. Jiggling (haha)
  5. Tightness through the hip flexors

Activation of Gluteus Maximus

The Bridge

  1. Lay on your back with your feet on the floor and knees bent.
  2. Feet should in line with the knees and about hip width apart
  3. Keep your arms rested by your side unless you’re inclined to get them in on the action. Then rest them on your stomach to prevent cheating.
  4. Make sure your low back is in contact with the floor, so you don’t hyperextend.
  5. Drive your hips up to the ceiling making sure that your knees don’t cave in and that your belly is tight.
  6. When you’re hips are as high as they will go, pause for 2-3 seconds and really squeeze your gluts as hard as you can.
  7. Release and reset the start position making sure your back is flat on the floor.
  8. Repeat 10-15 times once a day.

This is one of my favourite exercises, if I had to choose one warm up exercise this would be it. It’s so easy, you don’t need any thing, and there are a tonne of variations.

It will also keep your butt from getting jiggly!