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Runners Education: Strength Training

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Running Training

This is another installation in a series of runners education articles written by UW Health Sports Medicine staff.

 

A thoughtfully-conceived weight regimen into a distance training program can result in better running performance and fewer injuries.

 

For distance runners interested in incorporating weights to their training program, the exercises below target the entire body as well as incorporate a balance challenge.

 

Do the entire sequence twice as follows: perform each exercise for 30 seconds, with 15-second breaks between each exercise, then take an extended 1-2 minute break before completing the entire circuit a second time.

 

 

Alternating Lunges  
Strength exercises for runners from UW Health Sports Medicine

Holding a weight in each hand, or start with just your body weight, step forward with one foot, keeping your knee over your ankle, lower yourself with control no further than 90 degrees in your front leg.

 

Keep your abs engaged and back leg relatively straight.

 

Use your forward leg to press back to standing and repeat with the opposite leg.

   
Dumbbell Row  
Runners Strength Dumbbell Row

Step 1:

 

Hold a weight in each hand, either sit or stand and bend forward so your torso is parallel with the ground, keeping your shoulders down and abs engaged. 

UW Health exercise physiologists offer strength training exercises to help improve your running performance.

 Step 2:

 

Pull both weights up to the sides of your body/rib cage.

 

Lower and repeat.

   
Push-ups – Floor and Ball  
UW Health exercise physiologists offer strength training tips to help you improve your running.

Find a good plank position, which means:

  • Head in line with your spine
  • Hands just outside your shoulders
  • Elbows unlocked
  • Abs engaged
  • Knees down or legs straight

 

 

UW Health exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to help you improve your running.

Keeping your strong plank, lower your body toward the floor a few inches and press up.

 

Easier Variation

 

Stand with hands on the edge of a counter top with your body at arm's length from the edge. Make sure your abs are engage, head remains in line with your spine and lower your body toward the countertop and press up. Progress from the counter top to the floor and eventually the ball.

UW Health exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to help you improve your running.

Variation of the floor push-up for a greater challenge.

 

Maintain a good plank position with your shins on the exercise ball. 

UW Health Sports Medicine exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to improve your running. Keep your strong plank and lower your body toward the floor a few inches and press up.
   
Scapular Retraction  
UW Health Sports Medicine exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to improve your running.

Hold a light weight in each hand, or no weight at all, and either sit or stand and bend forward so your torso is parallel with the ground.

 

 

UW Health Sports Medicine exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to improve your running.

Holding your upper body still and elbows slightly bent, lift your arms out to the sides squeezing your shoulder blades together.

 

Lower the weight slowly and repeat. Be sure your shoulders do not creep up by your ears.

   
Torso Twists  
UW Health Sports Medicine exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to improve your running.

Stand tall, knees unlocked holding a weight or medicine ball in front of your belly.

UW Health Sports Medicine exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to improve your running.

Twist to the right moving the ball with your body, transferring your weight to your right foot/leg.

 

Swing the weight back through center to the left; controlling the movement with your core.

 

Variations

 

Easier exercise: Hold the ball close to your body.

 

Harder exercise: Hod the ball further away.

 

 

Windmills  
UW Health Sports Medicine exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to improve your running.

Stand tall on your right foot, knee unlocked, holding a light weight in your left hand.

 

Raise your right hand up.

 

 

UW Health Sports Medicine exercise physiologists offer strength exercises to improve your running.

Keeping your back long and straight, hinge forward from your hips lowering the weight down and diagonally across your body to the outside of your thigh, knee, or shin.

 

Use your core and standing leg to come back to the start position.

 

Repeat then switch to left leg/right arm.