High Five Friday

High Five Friday February 9 2018 _ happyfitmama.com

Happy High Five Friday!

I’m changing things up just a tad bit today.  I’m only sharing 4 pics from Instagram and 4 good reads.  Craziness, I know, but it’s ok people.  We’ll be ok.

1 ) No training plan = nothing but fun runs. I’m really enjoying this base building time.

2 ) That day after snowstorm (that turned to freezing rain!!!) glow. I love when it’s a bluebird sky day after a storm.  Everything sparkles.

3 ) I can and I will.

4 ) Some days you eat all the kale.  Sometimes kombucha and peanut butter pretzels are lunch. It’s called balance.

Good Reads

A Positive Mindset – As someone who knows what it’s like to be on the injured list, I can definitely agree that mindset is what makes or breaks an injury recovery.  It sucks but you can’t wallow it. Find what you can do and do all that you can to get back to where you want to be.

Life Weights, Eat More Protein, Especially if You’re Over 40 – I’d like to think this would be good for any age but yes, especially the older we get.  I see how much muscle mass we lose as we age in my patients.  Resistance training, with weights, bands or body weight is beneficial for any age.

Why I Skipped Dry January – I’m sure you’ve seen the whole Dry January thing – abstaining from alcohol for the first month of the year.  Like Amanda, I didn’t jump on that bandwagon.  First of all, I’m not a huge drinker.  Second, I like to have a glass a wine or a beer a couple of times a week.  For some who over did it during the holidays, I can see how drying out in January would be a good thing.

What would you like to High 5 this week?

4 Mini Band Glute Exercises for Runners


Buns. Tushie. Rump. Apple Bottom. Peach. Heinie. Glutes.

Whatever you call it, you need to have a strong backside to be a runner.

I am not genetically blessed with a strong posterior.  Thank you very much mom and grandma. I am a major quad dominant person.  Not only in running but in everything. My quads love to take over and do all the work. It’s great that my quads are so strong.  What’s not so great is that my glutes are tagging along for the ride.  No one likes a free loader!

If you look at the root cause of almost any running injury, it’s most likely going to be weak glutes. Your glutes are the source of pelvis and leg stability. If there is no stability, your legs can’t generate power. If you have weakness, other parts of your body (ahem quads for me) will step in to try to do the work.  That leads to compensation and poor mechanics.

Besides being vital for injury prevention, strong glutes will also help you be a more efficient runner and with that efficiency, speed.

Over the years, I’ve spent many hours in physical therapy from various injuries. Band work is a staple in PT.  Why?  Because it fires up those pesky little finite muscles that can easily tag along for the ride.

Last year, after seeing a new PT, I bought a set of mini bands (affiliate link) for home.

Best.Thing. Ever.

Now, I can do my mini band glute exercises for runners at home as part of my dynamic warm up before a run or while I’m hanging out watching TV at night.  It’s become a part of my routine.

And if it’s not in your routine, it should be!

Here’s 4 of my favorite mini band glute exercises for runners or for anyone.

Mini Band Glute Exercises for Runners _ happyfitmama.com

Single Leg Glute Bridge

Place the band right above your knees and lie on your back. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground just close enough that you can graze your heels with your fingertips when you stretch your arms down by your side. I like to have my palms up so I’m not tempting to press into the ground with my hands. lift one foot off the ground and straighten the leg, keeping it in line and parallel to the bent leg. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up off the ground as high as possible. Do not let your knees cave in with the band. Drive through your heels to lift your glutes off the ground. Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips up as high as possible. Hold for a second or two at the top and then lower down and repeat on the same side.

Mini Band Glute Exercises for Runners | happyfitmama.com

Lateral Shuffle

Place the band around both ankles. Pull the band so your feet are about hip-width apart with feet parallel. With a slight bend in the knees, step to the side with one foot and then step in with the other foot. Always keep tension on the band. Repeat 10x in on direction before returning to start.

Mini Band Glute Exercises for Runners | happyfitmama.com

Monster Walk

Place the band around both ankles. Step out wide so your feet are between hip-width apart. Step forward and out to the side with one foot. Then step forward and out to the side with the other. Take big monster steps while keeping your feet as wide apart as you can. Take 10 steps forward before repeating walk backwards in the same manner.

Mini Band Glute Exercises for Runners | happyfitmama.com

Lying Kickback

Place the band around your ankles and lie face down on the ground. Flex your feet with your toes on the ground. Lift one foot and drive the heel up toward the ceiling. Squeeze your glute as you lift. How high you lift your foot doesn’t matter. Hold at the top and then lower. Do not let your toe rotate inward or outward as you lift. Keep it pointing straight down at the ground. Repeat 15-20x before switching to the other leg.

Mini Band Glute Exercises for Runners | happyfitmama.comI was shocked how much these simple exercises burn when I first started doing them.  Glute work doesn’t require heavy weights or fancy equipment. Exercises like these 4 simple exercises can be the key in helping keep injuries away.

Linking up with Coaches’ Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

What is your favorite glute exercise?

What is your favorite mini band exercise?

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Last week’s workouts were so fun!  I’m still not training for anything but I’m slowly adding mileage and workouts for when training time comes along.

Side note: I’m going to be so tired in the morning. Who stayed up late for the Super Bowl AND This is Us AND The Tonight Show special?  Why so much good TV in one night?!?!


30 minutes Arc Trainer

15 minutes Step Mill

Single leg glute step ups on Smith machine

Single leg deadlift with shoulder press

Banded monster walks

Single leg lunge with shoulder press

Bench press

Reverse grip bent over row

Eccentric pull ups

Pull up shrugs

Bar hangs

KB plank rows

Med ball squat toss

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


Morning Flow Yoga

6 mile run with hill repeats; 2 mile easy run to hill, 9 x 45 sec repeats, 2.5 mile easy run

I’m not ready for running the full length of the big ass hill that I do repeats on just yet.  It’s a 12-16% incline that can take 2-3 minutes to climb from base to summit. Instead, I did 3, 45 second repeats from the base, 3 repeats from the mid point, and 3 repeats from about 1/4 down from the summit.  This run felt really good!


6 mile run

Six mile easy but hilly run with Kyle in single digit temps.  It’s a good thing we talk the whole time to distract ourselves from all the hills we covered.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


20 minutes Arc Trainer

20 minutes Step Mill

Single leg glute step ups on Smith machine

Single leg deadlift with shoulder press

Single leg balance/cable row

KB plank row

Rope bicep curl

Rope tricep push down

TRX bicep curls (single leg)

TRX row (single leg)

TRX push up

Eccentric pull ups

Bar hangs

Banded pull ups

2.5 mile trail run

I had zero intention of running today when Cooper and I went on a snowy walk on the trails. He seemed to have excess energy so I thought I’d test out his running endurance.  He surprised me big time by running roughly 2.5ish miles. I say ‘ish’ because I didn’t have my GPS going to time us. It was so fun and hopefully something we can do more often.  Although with less ice underneath the snow.  I was fine with my microspikes but Coop had a couple of wipe outs that could have been dangerous given that he’s a geriatric doggie.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


Rest day!


10 mile run

Saturday morning’s are quite busy with kid activities.  After waking up early every single day of the week, the last thing I want to do is wake up early on the weekend. Especially since I’m not training for anything!

I had a 1.5 hour window midday to get my run in.  Initially I thought I’d run 6 miles.  But then I got to 6 miles and thought, “what’s 4 more?”  So 10 miles for the day and my long run was done.  Boom.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


2.8 mile trail run

Sunday was the last day of ski club for my kids. The forecast was calling for rain around midday.  Skiing/boarding in the rain is not my idea of a good time. Rather than paying for a lift ticket for snowboarding, I decided to run while my kids were in lessons. Of course, the forecast was completely wrong (it was snowing when we go there) and the rain didn’t start to much later in the day.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com



Regardless, I had so much fun running/power hiking up to the cell tower at Gunstock and for a short bit on the trails. At 16% grade, it was a real lung buster! My only regret is that I didn’t have a whole lot of time to run more.

Linking up with Hoho and Wendy for the weekly workout wrap up.