Contrary to popular belief, runners do a lot more than simply running when training. Supplementing training with strength exercises has a wide array of benefits. However, runners need to perform strength exercise that will best assist them in improving their overall performance. These exercises are often centred around balance as this forms an important part in maintaining your stride.
Dean Karnazes said it best: “I run because if I didn’t, I’d be lethargic and depressed and spend far too much time sitting on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run…to savour the journey along the way. Life becomes a little more lively, a little more intense. I like that.”
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can train to boost your run.
Seven strength exercises for runners
Planking: Lying face down on the ground, slowly prop yourself onto your elbows. Keep the rest of your body straight and properly aligned – don’t hunch! Hold for 45 seconds and then release. Repeat three times. You can increase this time as you progress.
The Scorpion: In a push-up position, lift your left knee towards your right shoulder, rotating your hips as far right as possible. Release and repeat using your right knee on your left side. Repeat this for 30 seconds.
Lower-Body Russian Twist: Lie with your back on the floor and knees bent 90 degrees. Keeping your legs in this bent position, slowly lower your legs to the side of your body, starting with the left and then moving to the right. Your shoulders need to remain on the floor at all times. Repeat 5 – 10 ties.
Kettlebell Squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart and a kettlebell held out in front of your chest with both hands. Gradually lower your body into a squat stance, as if you were sitting on an invisible chair. At the same time, lift the kettlebell above your head, hold for a few seconds and then release, returning to a standing position.
Stability Ball Jack-knife: Begin in a push-up position, but with your feet resting on a stability ball instead of the floor. Gently roll the ball towards your chest by rounding your back and lifting your hips. Release by rolling the ball back into the starting position. Repeat eight times.
Rotational Shoulder Press: Take a pair of dumbbells and hold them on either side of your shoulders with your palms facing inward. Slowly rotate to the left, pushing the dumbbells overhead. Lower the dumbbells and return to the starting position. Repeat on the left side.
Stability Ball Leg Curl: Start by lying on your back. Place your hands alongside your sides and put your feet on a stability ball. Use your arms to keep you balanced. Slowly push you hips upwards so that your body forms a straight line. Roll your ball towards your hips – as close as possible without letting your hips sag. Repeat eight times.
These are just several exercises that can be used to improve your running performance. When getting ready for a race, or even to improve your overall running, strength training can be used to build endurance and assist you in explosive work. This means that you can conquer up-hills and navigate trick terrains and navigate speed intervals with ease.
Do you want to learn more about strength training? If you do, then you should consider becoming a personal trainer. For additional information about how to make your fitness dreams a reality, please follow this link.