Essential Strength Training: What Every Runner Should Know
Essential Strength training supplements a runner’s roadwork. It strengthens your muscles and joints which in turn, improves your speed and reduces the risk of injury. It is the only non-running exercise training that helps you become a better runner. It also improves your body’s composition and increases healthy muscle mass.
Here’s a closer look at few key exercises that optimize strength training for runners:
- Lower-body Russian Twist
Lower-body Russian twist is a core exercise for beginners. It increases your core strength as well improves your balance. Follow these steps to perform this stretch correctly:
- Lie on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor while bending your knees at 900.
- Lower your legs down to the left side of your body.
- While doing this, maintain your shoulder’s contact with the ground and see to it that you do not bend your hips or knees in the process.
- Once you are done, repeat the same stretch with your right leg.
If you have a shoulder or knee condition, visit a PT before you begin this exercise to avoid any unnecessary pain or injury in the future.
- Single-leg Squats
Yes. A squat can actually improve your core strength. To do it right, you will need a box or a small stool (15*15). Follow these instructions to do a perfect squat:
- Place your left foot on the box/stool.
- Bend your left knee slowly to squat downwards.
- Once done, resume the starting position and repeat the same stretch with your right leg.
- Do it at least 6-12 times with each leg.
- Overhead Lunge
Lunges are effective exercises to build strength in your calves, core, hamstrings, and quadriceps. If you like working out, you are familiar with how effective a lunge can be. You will require a pair of dumbbells to do this exercise.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands while making sure your shoulders and elbows are stretched straight.
- Take a step ahead with your left leg and lower down your body until your knee is bent at 90 degrees.
- Once done, resume your initial posture.
- Repeat the same exercise with your right leg.
If you are having difficulty performing this stretch, consult a Physical Therapist (PT). A PT can help you perform all your exercises painlessly and ensure you run without an injury.
- Calf Raises
The best way to improve your skills as a runner is by strengthening your calf muscles. Follow these steps in order to strengthen these areas. You will need a box or stool for this one too.
- Stand with your heels off the edge of the box.
- Lift up on your toes. You can use the support of a wall while doing so.
- By raising your left foot, lower down your right heel slowly.
- Repeat the same stretch by switching legs.
If you have difficulty doing calf raises, try activity specific exercises to build your strength and stamina for the same. To learn more about strength training for runners and improved workout routines, contact our experts today.