Why should runners strength train? PART II
Again, this post was inspired by Chris Johnson, my GO-TO for all things running!
For more information about Chris and some of the amazing content he has to offer, visit his website at Chris Johnson PT.
In the last post, we covered some of the benefits of strength training and the specific importance of this practice for runners. In this second piece, I will cover some of the most important and effective exercises that a runner’s strength training routine should include.
Dynamic Warm Up
This is often neglected by runners because it is easy just to get out and run. We want to allow adequate perfusion of blood to the necessary tissues and prepare the nervous system for the run itself. There is also likely too much time spent on unnecessary stretching. This stretching has little to no effect on injury prevention or preparing for the run.
Here are two recommended exercises that can be included in a dynamic warm up:
It is important for a runner to demonstrate solid single leg balance. Marching provides training for single leg balance that simulates running. It also allows for training of shortened stride length which can help reduce the risk of running related injuries.
Here are two recommended marching exercises:
Lateral Toe Tap
This exercise is important to train the glute muscles. The glutes play a large role at reducing running related injuries, as they are large contributors to the activity of running itself. This exercise directly targets those glutes, challenges single leg balance and simulates running as it is an upright activity.
Here are two recommended lateral toe tap exercises:
Step up (7-8” step)
This exercise challenges single leg stance just like the demands of life. It is important to focus on control, coordination, and timing with this one. It is NOT an exercise that should be challenging on the muscles but more on balance, quality, and form.
Here are two recommended step up exercises:
This exercises is one of the most basic yet it is very important. It is also performed without equipment. It works on glutes, hamstrings, calves, low back, and abdominals
It is great for preventing knee pain in runners.
Here are two recommended bridge exercises:
This is NOT just a core exercise. It challenges the lateral hip musculature which is very important for runners. It is recommended to not jump too quickly into unstable surface work as you want to master these first.
Here are two recommended plank exercises:
Calves can not be overlooked in training for the lower body as they are the powerhouse for distance running. Calf exercises can create tissue resiliency and build capacity to tolerate the demands of the sport and resistance to injury.
Here are two recommended calf exercises:
The squat is the most fundamental strength training exercise that is involved in everyday life. It has the ability to create full body resistance to running-related injuries.
Here are two recommended squat exercises:
Life demands that we carry stuff. So why not train it? Loaded carries play a primary role in working with runners of all ages and abilities as it is important to get acquainted with being tall and upright.
Here is a recommended carry exercise:
This exercise, along with the squat is one of the most important functional exercises that every human should perfect. It is also extremely important for injury prevention. The correct form is crucial and introductory exercises for this movement are important to perfect.
Here are a few deadlift exercises to introduce you to to the movement:
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