5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Running
Celebrity trainer, wellness expert, and author of Ultimate Family Wellness, David Kirsch knows what it’s like to be crunched for time. He doesn’t, however, see a busy schedule as an excuse for slacking off when it comes to your wellness program. In fact, he’s a big fan of doing a five-exercise express workout every morning to start your day on the right track. He then recommends following the workout with a nutritious breakfast that includes protein (e.g., egg white omelet, cup of steel cut oatmeal). The five moves should take into consideration your overall fitness and wellness goals. As an example, he has outlined a five-move circuit you could do to strengthen your running. Do each of these moves for 45 seconds to one minute, take a one minute break, and repeat the circuit another two times.
1. Single leg dead lift
Single leg dead lifts work to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes, both of which are critical for stabilization and power while running. To start, root your right foot on the ground with your heel firmly planted on to the floor. Slowly hinge your hips back while also hinging your knee until your back is flat. Make sure you are looking straight ahead. You can do this holding weights, a kettlebell, a weighted pole, or simply your body weight.
2. Forward lunges
Forward lunges strengthen your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors, all of which are essential for improving your run and decreasing the chance of injury. Start with your feet slightly apart. Pull your shoulder blades toward your hips and engage your core to stabilize your spine. Lift one foot off the floor and find your balance on the standing leg. Hold this position for a few seconds and then step forward. Your raised foot should land on the heel first and then shift your body weight onto the lead foot so that it firmly hits the floor. Try to keep as stable as possible before firmly pushing off your front leg and returning to your initial position. Alternate legs.
3. Lateral lunge
Lateral lunges engage the abductors and hip-stabilizing muscles. Start by taking a wide step with your left foot to the left side and lunge toward the floor. It’s important that your left knee doesn’t extend past your toes and to make sure to keep your right leg relatively straight as it angles to the left. Push off through your left foot to return to your starting standing position. Do 30 seconds on one leg and then 30 seconds on the other leg.
Push-ups are one of the best core strengthening exercises, but they also work your shoulders, triceps, and chest making them a great full body move as well. Start off in high plank position with your hands firmly on the ground and directly under your shoulders. Keep your core tight. Lower your body making sure your back is flat and that your neck is in a neutral position. Draw your shoulder blades back and down. Try to hold the down position for a few seconds before, with your core still engaged, pushing back up into your starting position.
5. Spiderman push-up
Spiderman push-ups are an effective variation on the aforementioned basic push-up. They contribute to core strength, which helps build a better runner. Start off as you would with a regular push-up, but when you lower your body toward the floor (making sure to keep your spine straight and your core engaged), bring your right knee to your right elbow, keeping it off the ground. Press back up to starting position and alternate sides.