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Strength Training For Runners

Running, being one of the most simple and minimalistic physical activities one can participate in, has no doubt been a popular choice of exercise for many people. Also, to those who have experienced the enjoyment of running or hitting that so called “runners’ high”, it’s the only form of exercise that gives them that feeling. However, due to repetitive action, over-use problems are very common among runners. We’ve listed a few exercises for strengthening muscles around the core and joints which are common injury areas for runners:

 

1. Single-leg Romanian Deadlift, 2 Arm Dumbbell

  • Start by standing on one foot while holding a dumbbell with an overhand grip in each hand
  • Hinge over at the waist, lowering the dumbbells as the non -support leg lifts behind you
  • Your torso and leg should move as one unit
  • Keep shoulder blades back and down throughout the movement
  • Return to the standing position by contracting hamstrings and glutes
  • Repeat for prescribed number of repetitions and then switch legs

 

2. Split Squat Back Foot Elevated

  • Standing in a split stance holding dumbbells at arm’s length at your sides with your back foot resting on the top of the foot or bottom of the toes on the bench
  • Keep your chest up and lower hips to the floor by bending the front knee without letting the back knee touch the ground
  • Return to the starting position by pushing up with the heel of the front leg
  • Repeat for prescribed number of repetitions and switch legs

 

3. Plank with Hip Flexion

  • Start in a push-up position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands under your shoulders.
  • Keep your torso stable and a neutral back throughout the movement, bring one knee toward your chest, flexing at the hip.
  • Return your leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat by bringing your opposite knee toward your chest.
  • Continue alternating to complete the set.

 

 
4. Bodyweight Squats

  • Standing, arms straight out in front, feet shoulder width apart and straight ahead
  • Initiating movement with hips, squat back and down until the thighs are parallel to the floor as if sitting back into a chair
  • Return to standing position by contracting your glutes
  • Keep chest up and back flat
  • Repeat for prescribed number of repetitions

 

 

A multitude of studies have shown that regular strength training can improve the efficiency of how the body uses oxygen, meaning better running economy which then translates into more speed and muscle endurance. So we’d like to suggest to all runners out there to incorporate 2-3 days per week of strength training to increase time to exhaustion and reduce risk of injury. Happy running!

 

 

 

Sources:

 

http://www.bodybuilding.com

http://www.runnersworld.com

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/806/Ten_Reasons_Why_Runners_Should_Include_Weight_Trai.aspx

 

 

 

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