Some runners forget how important strength training is. Supplementing running with strengthening exercises will not only aid in injury prevention but will make you a stronger, faster, and more efficient runner. Even for light runners like me, making sure my entire body is strong helps me go a bit farther and recover more quickly. Here are 5 great strength exercises for runners. It is ideal to include strength training sessions 2-3 time each week.
Squats hit a lot of running-specific muscles, and don’t require any equipment. They are an essential lower body strengthening exercise.
Here is an example from the folks at Howcast.
Planks are an essential exercise to strengthen the entire core. The major muscles of the core reside in the abs and the mid and lower back. Peripherally, the core also includes the hips, shoulders and the neck. The plank works to strengthen all of these areas.
Here is a great example from one of my favorite trainers, Bob Harper
Single Leg Deadlifts
Most runners only train their Quadriceps.This exercise works your hamstrings one at a time.
Strong and balanced leg muscles can increase performance and decrease chance of injury.
I like this example from Expert Village. This example uses a hand weight, but if you are new to a single leg deadlift, you can try it without weights as well.
When running, upper body strength is just as important as leg strength. If you are new to pushups, do them on your knees or elevated on a chair. If you are strong enough, do a traditional pushup on your toes.
This great video from Pop Sugar provides an excellent pushup tutorial.
Single Leg Bridge
The single leg bridge will work your glutes and core big time! If a single leg bridge is too advanced for you, stick with a traditional bridge with both feet on the ground.
Here’s a good tutorial from the folks at Livestrong.com
What are some of your favorite strength training exercises? Share them in a comment.