As most experienced runners know, there’s more to running than just running. Strength training plays a big role in injury prevention and performance. Strong muscles support the body better, protecting it from getting hurt, burn more calories than fat and make you more powerful with each stride. Here are four strength moves for runners that will help improve form, increase endurance and hit that next PR sooner.
Push-ups: Push-ups can tell you lots about the way you run. A push-up with a weak core, sagging hips and an arched lower back makes us unstable and will transfer over into overextended running. Performing a proper elbow in, vertical forearm push-up means better shoulder stability and a larger range of motion. These two things combine to give you an improved arm swing with good elbow drive in a north-south direction. An elbow out, angled forearm push-up creates an internally rotated shoulder position and an inefficient running arm swing.
Planks: A plank is little more than a stationary push-up and has many of the same benefits. Planks will help you strengthen your core, improve posture and build endurance. There are a wide variety of planks, each making your shoulders, wrists, trunk more stable while helping you relax and take a deep breath (or five). For more reasons to plank every day, check out this post and these videos.
Bodyweight Squats: One of the best strength moves for runners, squats strengthen running specific muscles and increase the range of motion around the hip joint. More power through a bigger range of motion not only means better running, it means safer running. Stronger quads, glutes and hamstrings, which stabilize the knee and hip, will reduce your risk of injury. Be sure to push the hips back until your knees is at a 90 degree angle and drive the knees out to get the most benefit from every squat you complete.
Single Leg Deadlifts: This strength move is perfect for preventing hamstring injuries, strengthening the hips, improving balance and building muscle in the glutes. Hold a free weight in front of your body while slightly bending one knee then hinge at the waist and lift the opposite leg behind you until the weight reaches the middle of your shin. Be sure to keep your back flat, engage your core and not let your shoulder get round as you return to the standing position.
Use these strength moves for runners and you’re sure to see the benefit.
Have questions? Ask us! Email Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.