Incorporating strength training into your training routine is essential for improving your run times and strengthening for the body to improve your runs overall. However, through your running schedule and busy life, it is hard to add in an extra type of workout on top of your runs. It is critical though if you want any sort of improvement to make time for strength training.
Not sure where to begin?
Adding these exercises into your workout routine two to three times a week, plus spending the time to stretch will also keep your flexibility in check too, especially with the additional strength training.
Here is a list of exercise that MindBodyGreen created to get you on the right path to strengthen your body and improve your runs.
1. Standard body squats.
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing forward. Sit back like you are sitting on a chair. Be sure to keep your knees directly over your ankles. Do three sets of 12 repetitions. If you need, you can hold 5- or 10-pound dumbbells for extra resistance.
2. Perfect walking lunges.
Stand upright, and take a large stride back with your right leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to perfect 90-degree angles. Don’t let your knee hit the ground. Repeat with your left leg. Do four sets of 12 repetitions on each leg.
3. Full-body push-ups.
Start in plank position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart. Make sure your fingers are spread outward. Engage your core and begin to lower your entire body toward the ground, keeping your head, neck, and back in a straight line. Don’t allow your torso to drop down or stick out. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Push yourself back up. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions each.
4. Traditional abdominal crunches.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Keep your shoulders back with your chin up. Don’t tuck your chin into the neck. Lift the upper half of your body while slowly exhaling, and then inhale going back down. Do four sets of 25 repetitions.
5. Bicycle crunches.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, your feet on the ground, and your hands behind your head. Bring your right elbow to meet your left knee; repeat on the other side. Do three sets of 25 repetitions on each side. This is a great exercise to increase oblique strength and build a stable core.
Are you a runner? Are you a runner that also strength trains a couple times a week? Tell us how you think strength training has changed your runs. We would love to hear!