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Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner’s

Running has one of the largest participation rates world wide.

Nearly half of all runners are injured in any given year, and 82 percent will experience a running-related injury in their lifetime.

  • 42% of all running injuries are to the knee, followed by 17% to the foot/ankle, 13% to the lower leg and 11% to the hip/pelvis.
  • Overuse injuries can occur from training errors (running frequency, duration, distance, speed and lack of leg strength and flexibility) and inappropriate surfaces, terrain and footwear.
  • Overuse injuries, as a result of training errors, are more common than acute injuries such as ligament and muscle sprains and strains.
  • The most common overuse injuries are patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee), iliotibial band friction syndrome, plantar fasciitis, meniscal injuries, tibial stress syndrome and patellar tendinopathy.
  • Reducing the distance, frequency and duration of your run can prevent injury.

When you run, most of the power from push-off comes from your hips. If you improve your core strength and improve your hip extension strength, you are well on your way to becoming a more efficient runner.

These exercises will make you stronger and less injury-prone. I love to run and don’t like spending time in the gym I would rather be outdoors but strength training is very important, and will help you build strong, powerful, injury-resistant muscles that will help you power your way up those hills and run at your best.

Here is why strength training helps runners: You have to be able to put out more force in a shorter amount of time to run faster. But if all you do is run, you never develop the true high-end strength and high-power demands that you need to do that. So if you develop a strong core, you keep things stable, and if you have good glutes, you can propel yourself off the ground.

These exercises are easy and require no equipment so you can do them any where. Start incorporating these simple strengthening exercises into your routine and see the difference.

Squat

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. Do three sets of 10 reps.

Watch out for: Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Keep your upper body “tall”—don’t lean forward.

Make it harder: Turn it into a Jump Squat. Squat down and then explode up as high as you can and land softly.

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Lunge

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Stand with your feet staggered, your right foot forward. Squat down so that your left knee is lowered toward, but not touching, the floor. Lower down to a count of tow, and rise back up to a count of two. Repeat on the other leg. Do three sets of 10 reps.

Watch out for: Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Keep your upper body “tall”—don’t lean forward.

Make it harder: Do Jumping Lunges. Step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge. Jump straight up off the floor, swinging your arms forward and switching your legs in midair, like scissors. Land in a lunge with your right leg forward.

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Bridge

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Lie on your back with your knees bent, arms out, and palms down. Draw your belly button in, and lift your hips up by pressing your feet into the ground. Contract your core, your glutes, and then your hamstrings in this position. Hold for three to five seconds. Do three sets of 10 reps.

Watch out for: Keep your hips level—don’t let one side dip—while raised.

Make it harder: Do a One Legged Bridge. Raise one leg off the ground. While keeping that leg in the air, drive through the heel of your other foot, raising your hips and gluts off the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do the same move on your other side.

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Plank

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Starting at the top of a push-up position, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms. Your body should form a straight line. Contract your abdominal and hold for 60 seconds. If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds, continuing for 1 minute.

Watch out for: Don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Make it harder: Do a Rolling Plank. Begin in plank position. Then rotate to your left and do a side plank. Hold for 10 seconds, then rotate into a right side plank and hold for another 10 seconds. Return to plan, and repeat.

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Mountain Climbers

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Get into a push-up position. Bring your right knee in, then extend it back. Bring your left knee in, then extend it back. Alternate legs and move as fast as you can while maintaining good form. Do three sets of 10 reps counting right and left together as one left.

Watch out for: Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Don’t change your lower-back posture as you lift your knee.

Superman

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Start face-down on the floor, with your arms and legs extended out front. Raise your head, your left arm, and right leg about five inches off the floor. Hold for three counts, then lower. Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Do up to 10 reps on each side.

Watch out for: Don’t raise your shoulders too much.

Make it harder: Lift both arms and legs at the same time.

Russian Twist

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

How To Do It:
Grab a medicine ball, dumbbell, or weight plate and sit on the floor with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Hold the weight straight out in front of you and keep your back straight (your torso should be at about 45 degrees to the floor). Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left, and then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right. That’s one rep, do 3 sets of 8-12 at the end of your workout.

Clameshell 100 daily

slide2-bweight-squat Great Strength Training Exercises for New and Seasoned Runner's

Research has shown that there are fewer differences between male and female runners that most of us have been told. This being said, the one thing that has stood out is that women typically have weaker hip abduction strength. Clamshells are a great way to isolate the lateral glutes.

Begin by lying on your side with your torso and pelvis both perpendicular to the ground. Next, straighten the spine. Squeeze your glutes tight like you have a quarter stuck between your butt cheeks.

With your feet resting on each other, lift only the knee up until it is level with the hip. Lower the knee down, keeping the glute contracted the entire time.

Safety tips for running Good preparation:

  • Always warm up and cool down by jogging slowly.
  • Hydrate prior to running and consider taking water on longer runs.
  • Good technique and practices will help prevent injury
  • Avoid doing too much too soon. Establish a graduated training program. Allow 24-48 hours rest and recovery between running sessions. Cross training, cycling or swimming can be done on ‘rest’ days.
  • Start slowly at a pace where you can have a conversation without breathlessness.
  • Gradually build up running speed and distance (no more than 10% per week).
  • Cut down if you experience pain. Pain is a sign that the body is not adapting to the exercise load.
  • Include lower leg strength and flexibility exercises in your training program.
  • Avoid running when you are tired and at the hottest part of the day. Schedule runs for early morning or late afternoon and run in the shade, if possible.
  • Drink water or a sports drink before, during and after running.

Resource:

http://www.runnersworld.com

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/russian-twist

http://www.mensfitness.com/weight-loss/burn-fat-fast/russian-twist

http://sma.org.au/resources-advice/sports-fact-sheets/running/

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