Taking a comprehensive approach to running will ensure a stronger and healthier runner. By incorporating strength training into weekly workouts, runners can experience increased speed, improved imbalances, enhanced mobility, and decreased risk of injury.
Additionally, strength training can improve body composition by maintaining and/or increasing lean body mass and decreasing percentage of body fat. This leads to higher burned calories throughout your day!
How to Start Strength Training:
- Train strength twice a week to gain full benefits
- Start with bodyweight and then increase resistance load once you feel confident with your form
- Perform these workouts on a low-mileage or rest day from running
- Limit strength workouts the week of your race to preserve fresh legs for the start line
- Seek advice from a personal trainer if you want more customized programs and individual coaching
4 Strength Exercises for Runners
Incorporate these 4 exercises into your strength routine. Complete 8-12 reps of each move for 3-4 full rounds. These exercises can be done with or without weights
This exercise is a compound movement that strengthens primarily the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings which are all major muscles recruited during the running gait. Squats also help to strengthen runner’s knees.
Whether on your knees or toes, push-ups are a great way to strengthen your upper body which can improve the power of running.
3. Single-Leg Deadlifts
Improve stability and strength with this hamstring-focused exercise which also protects the knee, ankle, and core. Do this movement to improve hamstring motor neuron control that will translate to the pull action of your running gait.
4. Band Pull–Aparts
A strong, fluid arm pump is important during the running gait to enhance power and speed. This exercise strengthens the rear shoulders and upper back for a powerful forward and backward arm motion.
Written By: Bethann Wittig
Rutgers Recreation Fitness & Personal Training Coordinator
RRCA Running Coach; NASM-CPT