Strength training is vital for runners as this ensures their joints and muscles are strengthened and this in turn reduces their chances of being injured while running. Strength training also ensures that runners are able to run at a faster pace and professional sprinters and runners complete the race in lesser time. Strength training can make a difference to the speed and stamina of runners.
Ideally, strength training should be carried out on a regular basis as this ensures that the runner is functioning at an optimum level. Strength training can impact a runner’s endurance in a positive manner. Strength training not only reduces the chances of an injury but also lessens the severity of an injury when it does occur. Strength training is highly beneficial for runners.
Essential Guidelines For Strength Training
Increase Total Body Strength
Regular strength training can lead to enhancement of the efficiency with which oxygen is used by the body and this improves muscle endurance and increases running speed. It is important for runners to focus on improving total body strength in order to become more skilled at running.
Some of the aims behind strength training include improving lower body strength, healthy calves and shins and building strength in the legs. For a stronger core there is need for strength training to ensure upper arms and body as well as the abdomen are worked out and the upper body is strong enough for the runner to be able to sprint or race in a marathon.
Include Strength Training In The Workout Schedule
Ensure that strength training is incorporated into the workout so that balance and stability improve. Go for circuit training as this will enhance the strength and flexibility in your muscles. Use a gym and also incorporate high intensity exercises which will challenge and strengthen you further. Ensure that strength training becomes part of your daily workout routine.
Strength Training Exercises For The Lower Body
Straight leg raises and bent leg raises are some of the strength training exercises to improve strength in your calves. In these two exercises, focus on raising the leg straight and bent respectively and raising and lowering your head for about 50 repetitions. This will make your calves flexible and strong.
Strong quadriceps are crucial for running. Knee extensions are an effective way to ensure that the quadriceps increase in strength and flexibility. Keeping them strong also prevents conditions such as “Runner’s Knees” from developing. Knee extensions are performed by keeping the knees bent at a less than 90 degree angle and extending your legs fully straight. Lower your legs to the starting point after this. This exercise is very good for improving the strength of the quadriceps.
Leg curls are another important strength training exercise for runners. They help in exercising the hamstring. Lunges are another important strength training exercise. Lunges are also good for improving the strength and flexibility of the hamstrings.
Strength Training For The Upper Body Parts
Arm workouts such as bicep curls and tricep curls are also important for runners. A strong upper body enhances the speed of the runner. Chest workout exercises such as bench presses are also critical for the runner.
Bench presses develop the muscles of the chest and the shoulder and involving lifting a weighted bar while lying on the workout bench. Abdominal crunches are also important for the runners. The crunches should be performed at a 45 degree angle and the lower abdomen should remain on the floor.
Setting Up The Strength Training Program
Thus, there are various strength training exercises which runners can use to improve their strength, speed, flexibility and stamina. Training regularly is an important part of a strength training program. Effective strength training programs are those that ensure that muscle groups most in need of conditioning are trained. There should be muscle balance which can be attained by training the antagonist and agonist muscle groups. There should also be a progressive overload stimulus.