Running

Scientists Pinpoint the ‘Sprinting Muscles’—Here’s How To Get ‘Em Stronger

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/BONNINSTUDIO

Scientists think there are many different factors that can influence how fast you’re able to run, like your technique, psychology, what you’re eating, and your anatomy. But new research has found having a big, muscular booty could be the most important factor of all.

The study, which was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, looked into which muscles are most important for elite sprinters’ speed and performance. After measuring the sizes of 23 different muscles in 42 participants’ lower bodies, there was a very clear answer. While the top sprinters were more muscular overall, they also had the largest glutes. In fact, according to the researchers, 44 percent of the variability in performance was due to the size of the runners’ glutes, and the glutes were 45 percent bigger in elite sprinters than sub-elite sprinters.

“It appears that muscle size is more important for fast running than we thought and especially the size of the hip extensors and gluteus maximus,” said study author Jonathan Folland, an expert in neuromuscular performance, in a press release. “The logical implication is that with a larger gluteus maximus, the runner will be able to generate more power and therefore greater sprint speed. Thus, increasing the size of the gluteus maximus in particular, as well as the other hip extensor muscles, would be expected to improve sprint performance.”

If you want to strengthen your glutes to increase your running speed, these are the best booty building workouts to get you started.

The best booty building workouts for your glutes to help you run faster

1. 25 minute lower body workout

In this workout, Charlee Atkins strengthens your booty with both mat-based and standing exercises.

2. Resistance band glute workout

Grab your resistance bands and get to work in this resistance band glute workout led by Bec Donlan.

3. 15-minute leg and glute workout

You can work up a sweat in record time with Billie Robyn’s 15-minute leg and glute workout.

4. Glute workout for runners

Traci Copeland’s glute workout is made specifically for runners with moves like power skips and single leg deadlifts.

5. Pilates legs and glutes workout

Work your glutes and legs Pilates-style in this sweat sesh led by Chloe Gregor. Better yet, it’s done in 15 minutes.

6. Yoga for glute strength

If you’d rather strengthen your booty through some calming yoga poses, this workout from Andrea Russell is the perfect fit.

7. Pilates standing glutes workout

Make your Pilates-style glutes workout even more challenging with Kimmy Kellum’s standing version.

8. Kettlebell legs and glutes workout

Have kettlebells on hand? Put them to use with Roxie Jones’ leg and glutes workout that involves single-leg Romanian deadlifts, split squats, and more.

Fresh air and endorphins are yours for the taking with our United States of Running program. This fall, Well+Good is lacing up for 5K and 10Ks, leading us to the starting line of a virtual race on November 7. Sprint on over to sign up for one of our 5-week training plans and let’s clock some miles together.

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