Why Distance Runner’s Should Strength Training
What do you do on your non running days? Hopefully your answer is strength training. You know that running will help train your lungs and legs, but what about the rest of your body? Strength training is crucial to be a well rounded athlete. Training only a few times a week will help create balance in your muscle groups and help eliminate overuse injuries like runner’s knee, shin splints, and tendinitis to name a few.
Runners have to be able to put out more force in a shorter period of time to run faster. If all you do is run, and don’t strength train, you never develop the true high-end strength and high-power demands that you need. If you develop a strong core, you keep things stable. If you have strong glutes, you can propel yourself off the ground.
Try these body weight strength training exercises….
Hamstring Curls — Lay on your back and put your feet atop the stability ball. Lift your lower back off the ground and push the ball away from you with your feet, straightening your legs and keeping your core right. Then bring the ball back toward you. Repeat 20 times.
Burpees – On the floor in a push-up position, straighten your body so it’s parallel with the floor. Hold this position for two seconds before coming back up to a standing position and jumping into the air, straightening your body.
Body-weight Squats – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your heels firmly planted on the floor. Put your hands straight out in front of you and begin lowering your body into a sitting position. Keep your back straight and push your weight into your heels as you reach a sitting position. Hold for three seconds before returning to a standing position. Repeat 10-15 times. For an additional challenge, perform this exercise with 10-15 pound dumbbells.
Reverse Dips – Stand with your back to a bench or chair whose seat is about 3 feet off the ground. Put your hands on the seat behind you just beyond shoulder width apart and your feet two to three feet out in front of you (heels will be on the ground, toes up in the air), keeping your body straight. Lower your upper body until your elbow reaches a 90-degree angle. Repeat 10-15 times.
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