Google 'Strength Training for Runners' and you'll find an array of articles and free programs on how to specifically train the running muscles and help them get stronger. The problem with the majority of programs available is that they directly address training a certain muscle group.
The methodology with your typical strength training program picks exercises that directly engage the running muscles; calves, hamstring, quads, glutes, abs. The problem with that approach is that it isolates muscles, and to truly improve as a runner you need to address the body as a whole, after all, running is a full body movement, not bouts of activation of certain muscles in the body. The lactic acid travels throughout the body so we must train the body to adapt. This is one of the reason why circuits are amazing for runners!
The other important element is addressing the neuromuscular connection by adding plyometric exercises. When your foot hits the pavement, there are thousands of neuromuscular connection from the feet muscles to brain and back to feet muscles in order to properly push off the ground. What if you can speed up that connection, will it make you a faster runner? YOU bet it will! The K-Fit 6 program addresses that by implementing the ideal blend of unilateral strength training and core combined with bouts of plyometric exercises. A stronger neuromuscular connection is key to your running success.
Strength Training for runners is all about adapting the major and minor muscles that support the big running joints (hips, knees and ankles). Strength training is not only the number one way to prevent injuries for runners, but also the most effective thing when it comes to losing weight as a runner. I've seen it happen to hundreds of runners and this is why I continue to preach it =)
When I train my runners, I prefer to train them in a circuit type setting. I combine a blend of strength, core and plyometric exercises. All 3 help my runners activate different energy systems and the constant movement from station to station prevents the body from hitting a plateau and adapting during the workout. All exercises also include moving in various planes of motion as well.
Remember, every pound of lean muscle you have helps to burn 5x more calories than 1 pound of fat….and that’s simply at rest! If you don't have access to a gym, try some body weight routines-- They work fantastic when done right!
Try these exercises 3x per week. Attempt 10 reps of each exercise in a 6 min cycle (10 min for advanced) Repeat all exercises until the time is up. Rest, hydrate and repeat cycle.
Keep shoulder right above the hip joint. Lunge forward (yet aim to go down and not lean forward) and focus on the push back with the front leg.
Keep hips and core tight! Don’t forget to breath.
Try to leave the ground. Put your butt out on the squat phase and drive the hips forward on the jump.
Shoulder Squeeze Plank:
Don’t let the hips drop. Focus on the squeeze!
Reach and Tuck:
Keep feet as low as you can (without stressing the lower back). Squeeze your abs on the tuck phase.
If you want to see more of these, be sure to check out the K-Fit 6 program which includes 6 weeks of illustrated exercises as well as demo videos, nutrition guide and ongoing support by me and my staff. For more workout ideas and recipes, be sure to sign up for our newsletter!
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