London, UK Posted 1 month ago
5 Essential Exercises For The Powerful Runner
When it comes to improving running performance, runners usually fall into one of two camps:
- Those who just run more
- Those who prioritize strength training
I know because I spent years in the former category.
Strength Training Is a Critical Component
Strength training is a critical component for any powerful, successful runner as it helps with:
- Staying healthy by preventing injuries that result from weak muscles, such as IT Band Syndrome and runner’s knee
- Developing muscular power that enables speed and a fast finishing kick
This single tool—strength training, can help you get faster, prevent injury, and run more efficiently. No runner wants to get injured or sidelined, or even worse, miss a race.
Consider how many runners will get hurt this year.
Depending on the source, 35-80% of runners will get injured every single year.
The majority of runners take fitness classes, such as body pump, boot camps, or CrossFit. However, the problem with these fitness classes is they do not personalize the training for you or develop the necessary speed and power for running. Plus, you’ll be more likely to hurt yourself.
The best strength training for runners should have two characteristics:
- It should prevent injuries by focusing on the runner's specific needs, such as core stability, hips, and lower body strength.
- It should include compound, multi-joint movements like squats, deadlifts, and push-ups.
Here are the five best strength exercises for runners to routinely include in their training regimen. You cannot go wrong with these.
The deadlift is one of the most effective running specific exercises as the deadlift will help you propel forward.
Most knee pain results from being too quad dominant, meaning your glutes aren’t doing their job, causing your quads to work overtime.
2. Goblet Squats
Another great tool to have in your toolbox is the goblet squat. The squat is a multi-joint exercise that primarily strengthens the hips, quads, and hamstrings.
These muscles are crucial to improving your running performance while minimizing injury risk. Healthy, strong legs often equate to faster legs.
3. Split Squats
Split squats are one of the best exercises any endurance athlete can do as it closely mimics the actual running motion.
Running is a predominantly unilateral movement, meaning you’re using just one limb at a time, so it makes sense to prioritize single-leg strength. In addition, split squats will help identify any unilateral weakness that can lead to running injuries.
4. Hamstring Curls
However, the hamstrings play a critical role in stabilizing the knee from collapsing when the foot lands on the ground.
Considering how many strides runners take with every race and training session, hamstring curls are essential for runners.
5. Leg Lowers
Having a strong, stable core is an underrated aspect of running.
Your core muscles keep your torso upright and reduce wobbling during running. The wobble is also known as an energy leak, meaning you're wasting precious energy and opening yourself up for potential injuries.
Leg lowers help stabilize your core.
6. Bonus: Band Glute Bridge Combo
So far, all the exercises listed are big compound, multi-joint exercises. However, runners can benefit from isolation work as well, especially to reduce knee pain.
Strong hip muscles are essential for efficient running and injury prevention. The band glute bridge combo works by directly targeting the smaller glute muscles that help stabilize and prevent your knee from collapsing inward while running.
Read the full article at: breakingmuscle