Strength Training for Runners
Many marathon runners, mostly amateurs, often forget to include strength training in their fitness routines. Strength training not just improves the stamina but also makes you a better, faster and an efficient runner. You need to target the key muscles that will help you keep your balance. We have handpicked some drills for you. Here they go!
Planks: Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together. Hold this position for as long as you can and gradually try to add time.
Squats: Keep your feet, shoulder width apart, squat down, pushing your knees and butt out. Keep your back straight along with your neutral spine and chest and shoulders straight. Repeat 10-15 reps.
Speed Skaters: Put your right leg behind your left; the legs should be crossed at the thighs and should have some distance between each foot. Hop and transfer your weight from one leg to the other, laterally, crossing your left leg behind the right this time. Repeat the exercise 20 times.
Bird-Dog: Begin by remaining on all fours and tighten your abdominal muscles, keeping your spine and neck in a neutral position; raise your opposite arm and leg simultaneously. Your arm should lay parallel to the ground and the leg should create a 90-degree angle. Lower your arms and legs slowly and switch sides. Repeat with 15 reps for each side.
Lunges: Step forward with one leg and lower your hips and knees, creating a 90- degree angle. You can include variations by adding weight using dumbbells.
Long Jumps: With your feet and shoulders wide apart, move to a squat position and then leap forward using your arms to propel. Land gently and repeat 10 times.
One-legged hop: Stand on one foot and hop up and down 15-20 times and ten change the leg. Perform this exercise without shoes to activate more feet muscles.