Strength training helps to improve structural weaknesses in our body. As we run for a long time, our form starts to falter. This faltering form may lead to an unwanted injury. Runners that strength train are usually stronger and faster. This is because runners who don’t tend to get injured more often, hence impeding their progress. Here are 4 simpler must-do strength workouts for runners.
#1 Mountain Climbers
Mountain Climbers make a great workout. It’s a killer exercise and a true full body workout, great for runners. Mountain climbers work your upper body strength and all the stabilizer muscles in your body when you bring your knees in. It also fires up your core muscle to hold you in a plank position. The other plus side of this workout is that it trains your legs to move quickly, which in turn can help improve your running cadence. This workout has so many benefits to your running, don’t give it a miss. 20 seconds, with a 10 seconds rest, 8 repetitions would leave you gasping for breath.
#2 Clam Shell
This particular exercise targets your hips. As runners, weak hips are the cause of a myriad of running injuries. Examples are ITB Syndrome, piriformis problems, and runner knee issues. Clamshells is one particular exercise that can help strengthen your hips. It’s a really simple exercise that can be done while you are watching tv but really helps give you strong hip abductors and external rotators – essential in preventing running injuries.
#3 Single-Leg Deadlift
The single leg deadlift exercise targets your hamstrings and glutes – 2 very critical muscles for running. As this movement is done while balancing on one leg, it also strengthens the ankles. You will be able to run with more power with strong hamstrings and glutes and at the same time reduce your chances of an ankle injury. With strong ankles, should you roll your ankle, you can just run it off instead of sustaining a sprain.
If you can only do one strengthening workout, it has to be the squats. Squats really target the running-specific muscles and strengthen them. They are easy to do, and can be done anywhere, anytime. Incorporate some squats post-run to fire up those quads. Once you are advanced enough, step up your game and try the single-leg squats. This will target your balancing muscles as well.