5 Important Strength Exercises for Runners

January 05, 2017

#1 - Planks

The one exercise we all should do is planks. If you are a short distance runner, long distance or even a fun runner, I can't emphasise how important it is to have a good core. To do a plank, it's pretty straight forward. Prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart. Make sure your body is aligned, your ab muscles are tight, and shoulders are directly above the elbows and down and back, not hunched up. When starting off, hold this position for 20 seconds to 30 seconds. Eventually you should try to one minute. Repeat: 3 to 5 What Muscles were worked out: core, lower back, shoulders

#2 - Lower-Body Russian Twist

Again, focusing on your core, the lower body Russian Twist is an easy core exercise which could be used in warm up exercises before a run. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent 90-degrees. Without changing the bend in your hips or knees, lower your legs to the left side of your body while keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor. Lift them back to the starting position, and repeat to the right side of your body. That’s one rep. Repeat: 10 to 12 What Muscles were worked out: core

#3 -Scorpion

This is actually an exercise I really enjoy myself. Apart from the important workout for your core and shoulders, it also helps improve your balance.
Get into pushup position but with your feet on a bench. Raise your right knee toward your left shoulder as you rotate your hips up and to the left as far as you can. Then reverse directions, rotating your hips up and to the right, and try to touch your right foot to the back of your left shoulder (you won’t be able to do it). That’s one rep. Continue for 30 seconds with your right leg, then switch legs. Repeat: As many as you can in 30 seconds What Muscles were worked out: shoulders, core

#4 - Overhead Lunge

As simple an exercise as this is, the first time I attempted the overhead lunge was when I joined the gym. The mistake I made however was starting off with weights. This is an ideal workout for you to try in your hallway at home using just your body weight. You can progress to using weights after a few weeks
Hold your hands straight above your shoulders, with your arms straight and elbows locked. Step forward with your left leg, and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Return to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg. That’s one rep. Repeat: 6 to 8 (each leg) What Muscles were worked out: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, core

#5 - Exercise Ball Hip Extension

You might need to get an exercise ball for this exercise. Failing that, you can use the edge of your couch or bed but for best results, you might get the ball in Lidl or Aldi when they have offers or Elvery's at any other time of the year. Lie on your back on the floor, and place your calves on a exercise ball. Extend your arms to your sides to help support and balance your body. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Without allowing your hips to sag (keep with your body at all times), roll the ball as close as you can to your hips by bending your knees and pulling your heels toward you. Repeat: 6 to 8 What Muscles were worked out: hamstrings, glutes, core We hope to have some more tips and great exercises for you in the coming days, so stay tuned!! Inspired by an article on Runners World

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