Nine times out of 10, runners don’t spend a lot of time contemplating the size of their biceps. And why should they? When all is said and done, it’s the legs which count. So, does this mean that upper body exercises for runners don’t mean anything?
Running’s not just about your legs. This is because, as you move through space where you’re running, the following happens:
- Your core fires,
- Your arms pump, as well as
- Your entire body works together in order to drive you forward.
So, while logging the kilometres is still the best way in order for runners to train, don’t forget that you need to train the top half of your body with upper body exercises.
Making sure that you have a strong upper body makes you a more effective runner. A strong upper body helps in the forward movement of each stride. One’s abdominals and arm muscles provide give you support and coordination. All these elements combined allow the athlete to run more efficiently.
Upper Body Strength Training Ensures Better Posture
Ultimately, your running form dictates your performance potential. If you aren’t to keep proper form as well as posture throughout your training or event, you’ll never perform at your very best. Increasing upper-body strength could improve posture and help you to keep consistent form.
It Improves Your Arm Swing
Your arm swing is responsible for dictating your rhythm. And while you don’t want to pump your arms actively while running a distance event. A strong set of shoulders and arms assists with keeping a consistent tempo. Flimsy arms become tired quickly which leads to sloppy form. This means that you should sprinkle some direct arm training into your workouts.
Increased Muscle Glycogen
Almost every experienced runner has experienced a depletion of muscle glycogen, which is your body’s stored carbohydrates which serve as fuel for intensive exercise. Once the glycogen stored in your muscles – as well as your liver – is used up, your body slows down just as a car which is running just on fumes.
You are able to prevent this by eating or drinking carbs during your workout or race. If you’re searching for a more proactive approach, building muscle in the gym increases your body’s capacity to store muscle glycogen. Quite simply, more muscle means a bigger “tank” to hold your glycogen stores.
Upper Body Exercises For Runners
Here is a list of exercises which you are able to do in order to build upper body strength at home, without weights:
- Bodyweight biceps exercises and triceps exercises
- Core exercises for runners
- Dynamic plank variations
- Back exercises you can do at home
During strength-training sessions, runners tend to focus solely on the legs, glutes as well as core. After all, they’re doing the bulk of the work as you pound the pavement. However, you’d be doing yourself a massive disservice if you didn’t also make sure to work your arms.
Keen on becoming a strength training whizz? If you are then you need to become a personal trainer. The best way to do this is by doing our Personal Training Diploma. Find out more here.