If you are a runner, then there are many benefits of adding some fundamental strength training to your routine, as well as a few key mobility and stability exercises. This supplemental training has equal merit to preventing any injuries as well as improving performance.
The goal of this routine is to correct common imbalances we see in most runners as well as to build up essential building blocks for strength. Both of which can allow for a runner to progress into higher levels of strength and power training.
With most of the race season and running events being postponed or cancelled, now is the perfect time to be addressing many of the issues that are typically ignored!
How to use this workout: Perform these exercises for the amount of reps listed 1-2x/week. Note that the order in which you do the exercises is very important.
Here is the 30 minute routine:
Circuit 1 (1 set):
- Ankle mobilization 10/side
- ½ Kneel t-spine rotation 5/side
Circuit 2 (3 sets):
- Front-foot elevated split-squats 10/side
- ½ kneel single-arm row 12/side
- Feet-elevated glute bridge 12-15
Circuit 3 (3 sets):
- Heel-elevated squats 10 (slow)
- Prone hamstring curls 10/side (you can substitute with a band)
- Bench plank mountain climbers 12-20 (alternating)
Circuit 4 (2 sets):
- Side leg raises 12-15/side
Here are videos demonstrating each of the exercises:
- Pay attention to specific coaching cues that are given within each of the exercise demonstrations
Standing Ankle Mobilization
The focus of this exercise is to release any tightness in the calf as that can lead to restrictions in ankle mobility. Restriction will only further lead to altered running gait, loss of power production, and further compensation through the knees, hips, lower back, and shoulders.
½ Kneel T-Spine Rotation
This exercise focuses on improving thoracic mobilization. A normal running gait involves rotational forces as well as adequate rotation of the thoracic spine. Prolonged sitting, poor postural habits, and faulty breathing patterns cause restrictions in the mid back, which can poorly affect running performance.
Front Foot Elevated Split Squat
Many runners are typically found to have tight hip flexors, hip external rotators, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. This exercise will help to lengthen your hip flexors while simultaneously strengthening them in a lengthened range.
½ Kneel Single Arm Row
This exercise focuses on improving thoracic mobilization. Similar to the t-spine rotation exercise, it helps to ease any restrictions in the mid-back caused by prolonged sitting, poor postural habits, and faulty breathing patterns, all of which can poorly affect running performance.
Feet Elevated Glute Bridge
This exercise will help take the slack off of tight quads that are typically found in most runners, to allow you to better engage your glutes.
Heel Elevated Squats
This exercise focuses on strengthening your vastus medialis, which is often weaker than the other three quadricep muscles. Paired with prone hamstring curls, it will create a better balance for your knee and will eventually lead to better power production.
Prone Hamstring Curls
This exercise directly isolates your hamstrings, and is an effective way to prevent hamstring and knee injuries. Paired with the heel elevated squats, it will allow you to create a better balance for your knee and will eventually lead to better power production.
Bench Plank Mountain Climbers
This exercise focuses on stabilizing your core while effectively recruiting your psoas muscles.
Side Leg Raises
This exercise will help to activate your gluteus medius – a muscle imperative for single leg stabilization. Combined with the previous exercises, they all provide a nice little package to correct and strengthen as well as facilitate lasting results in improving your hip mobility and strength.
If you have any questions or want to know more about any of the exercises featured in this post, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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