Even if you just like to go for a light jog once in a while and don’t strive to conquer the athletic Olympus, running exercises will help to strengthen the body and make your body more toned.
Running develops almost every muscle group. The correct training process consists not only of running itself, but also of a large number of special exercises that develop muscles, strengthen ligaments and contribute to the development of speed and strength qualities. In order for training to become more pleasant and effective every day, all experts without exception recommend, in addition to the running component of the training process, to regularly do a series of SBU (special running exercises) and a series of SU (strength exercises). Both are necessary to master the correct running technique. Trained muscles will allow you to run faster, more technically and more comfortably.
Sports doctors like to say that strong muscles contain strong ligaments. Systematic strength training increases muscle fiber volume and strength. In addition, they strengthen ligaments and bones. By strengthening the ligament apparatus, you significantly reduce the risk of injury. By using the basic set of strength exercises in your training process, in a few months you will feel how much stronger your body has become and you will notice that your personal best at one distance or another becomes more raised.
A runner does not need a lot of muscle mass, so the best option for muscle training is to do exercises with your own body weight, without using additional load.
Over the years of development of athletics, specialists have developed a large number of special exercises aimed at increasing the effectiveness of training, strengthening muscles and ligaments. Today we’re highlighting ten of the most popular strength exercises that top athletes use in their training.
Related: OFP for runners: 30 bodyweight exercises
It should be noted right away that it is advisable to first consult a specialist, especially if there are diseases of the musculoskeletal system, if there have been injuries, if there are diseases cardiovascular system or if you have had problems with the spine. If none of this bothers you, feel free to start strength training.
Performed dynamically. This exercise is not only for developing leg muscle strength, but also for overall coordination. When performing this exercise with a straight back, the muscles at the back of the thigh are the most active. These muscles are involved in hip extension during running. If you perform this exercise with a slight tilt of the body forward, the load on the front of the thigh increases.
2. Reindeer race
This is one of the basic exercises of the SBU complex. It is performed both in a series with other special running exercises, and in a separate block (series 30-60 meters long). Most actively strengthens ligament-lifters. Often this exercise is the most difficult for beginners due to its technical complexity.
Develops many muscle groups: the foot to push, the levator ligaments to lift the hip, the front and back of the thigh to push the power of the squat. If you have never done this exercise or have had a long break, then you should not immediately start performing an exercise with a large number of jumps: most likely, this will lead to severe acidification of the quadriceps muscle. To avoid this, start with only 1-2 sets of 3-5 jumps.
9 easy exercises to strengthen your feet
4. Jump on a support
It is performed on any stable support with a height of 25-50 cm, in sets of 20-30 seconds. Serves for the development of the calf muscle, as well as the front and back of the thigh. Make sure your back is straight. The calf muscles when running are responsible for both the endurance and power with which you push across the surface. Doing this exercise regularly will strengthen your ankle. Weakness in the muscles surrounding the ankle often leads to fatigue injuries in the lower leg and also weakens momentum from the ground while running which affects the ability to run longer with proper running technique.
5. Jump from one foot to the other
Jumping with a leg change will increase the range of motion of the hip joint, the strength and power of the hip extensors, which will have a positive effect on running technique. This is another exercise that develops coordination of movements. Do 2-3 sets of 10-12 jumps for each leg 2-3 times per week.
6. Jump from a semi-squat
Perfectly strengthens the quadriceps femoris and the knee joint. It is necessary to ensure that in the extreme position of the semi-squat there is a cushioning, and not a hard landing. Performed 3-5 sets of 10-20 jumps. Goes well with circuit training.
7. Mahi slot
Popular in gyms, “lunges” can be done in a variety of ways. You can make this exercise more beneficial for the runner. To do this, perform rocking movements forward and up. The back should be kept straight and the correct position of the hands should be monitored. Well strengthens the ligaments-lifters and the back of the thigh, and also strengthens the knee joint.
8. Side body lift
Strengthens the oblique muscles of the press, the muscles of the trunk, promotes the development of coordination. 3-5 sets are performed, each consisting of 5-12 lifts on each side. Between sets 30-60 seconds of rest. Strengthening the core muscles allows you to maintain a beautiful posture and a healthy spine. For effective muscle training, the load must be increased methodically, forcing the muscles to work harder and harder.
9. Run in place near the wall
Extremely energy-intensive exercise. Develops speed-strength qualities, is a cardio load. It is performed in sets of 15-40 seconds (duration depends on fitness level). It is recommended to do 3 to 5 sets with a rest of 30 to 60 seconds. While you are resting, breathe and take a few sips of water.
10. Plank with leg lifts
The well-known plank exercise has several variations. One of them is a plank with alternating leg lifts. The plank helps strengthen your back, abs, legs, obliques, and hips. Planks on the elbows are more difficult to hold than on straight arms. This exercise is quite energy intensive, but very effective. Start with 20-30 seconds and add a little each time. Unlike the classic plank, the plank with alternating leg lifts is usually performed not for time, but for number of lifts. The feet are slightly wider than shoulder width. The leg should rise and fall slowly, the knee should be straight.
See also: 20 board options for racers
In each exercise, it is important to observe the correct position of the body and proper breathing. This will allow you to get the most out of the load, avoid injuries during training, and also provide the working organs with sufficient oxygen.
It should be especially noted that strength exercises should be done regularly (2-3 times a week), if at all. If you remember your strength training every three weeks, be prepared for the fact that the next day you will feel a strong acidification of the muscles.
Read also: What muscles work while running