BOOK NOW

Top Strengthening Exercises for Runners

Jan 25, 2019

Why is Strength Training so Important?

Strength and conditioning reduces overuse injuries by 50%.

According to the evidence “Strength training reduced sports injuries by less than a 1/3 and overuse injuries could almost be halved” (Lauersen et al, 2013).

The common areas of weakness we find are; gluteus medius (buttocks), transverse abdominus (core stability muscles), quadriceps (thigh), hamstrings (back upper leg) and gastrocnemius/soleus (calf muscles).

No excuses now!

A recent study has found that training for just 13 minutes, 3 times a week maybe enough to increase strength and endurance (Schoenfeld et al 2019) – https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2019&issue=01000&article=00013&type=Fulltext

Here is a testimonial from one of our clients who used strengthening exercises to improve their running:

“I had my first run event of the year, on average I ran 20 seconds a mile quicker over 5 miles that I have for years. Really took me by Surprise! So thanks for all your help so far, strength sessions and grass fartleks are really paying off”. Mrs L

Strengthening Exercises for Runners

We recommend doing two-three strength sessions per week and work the muscles to fatigue (until they are aching).

Which exercises you do will vary depending on whether you go to the gym or not.

To start with I will cover exercises you can do at home and then mention gym ones at the end.

Initially aim to repeat each exercise 25 times with good control and quality.

Once you can complete each exercise 25 times then add weight and reduce repetitions.

Aim to repeat:

  • 1-3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • Working to fatigue within those reps
  • 2 minutes rest between sets
  • Repeat 3 sessions per week on nonconsecutive days

It is important to add load during strength sessions as when running 4.5-7.6 x body weight goes through your knees.

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP or Physiotherapist before exercising if you have any aches or pains then please send us an email to enquiries@physio-logical.net for advice and guidance.

Get help

 

Side Leg Raises

  • Lying on your side with your back against a wall
  • Lift your top leg up, by sliding your heel up the wall
  • This should be slow and controlled, so lift your leg up for a count of 3 seconds and down for 3 seconds
  • Repeat until fatigue
  • Then turn over and repeat on the other side

Lunges

  • Stand with your legs in a lunge position.
  • Go down and up keeping your weight evenly distributed through your legs.
  • Make sure you keep your knees in line with your second toes and your back up straight.
  • This should be slow and controlled, so down for a count of 3 seconds and up for 3 seconds
  • Repeat until fatigue

 Deep Squats

  • In standing, with feet hip width apart.
  • Slowly bend at your hips until your knees are at about 90 degrees.
  • Make sure your back is kept straight and your knees are in line with your second toe.
  • This should be slow and controlled, so down for a count of 3 seconds and up for 3 seconds
  • Repeat until fatigue

Planks

  • Start on elbows and knees
  • Straighten your legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Face the floor, being careful not to arch your back or stick your bottom in the air.
  • Hold this position for 45 seconds to begin with, extending the time as you get stronger.
  • You should feel this on your tummy muscles if you get lower back pain then stop

Single Leg Calf Raise

  • Standing balance on one foot.
  • Push up onto the ball of your foot
  • Go down and up slowly for a count of 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down.
  • Repeat until fatigue
  • Then repeat on the other side

 Single Leg Rise

  • Start sitting down
  • Straighten one leg out in front of you
  • Stand up and then sit down on one leg only
  • Repeat until fatigue
  • Repeat on the other side

Single Leg Bridge

  • Lying on your back
  • Bend one knee
  • Keep the other leg straight and level with the other knee
  • Push down through your heel on the bent leg and lift your hips up
  • Repeat until fatigue
  • Repeat on the other side

Get help

 

Gym Based Strengthening exercises for Runners

You can complete all of the above exercises at the gym but the three leg strengthening exercises that were used in the recent study – which found that training for just 13 minutes, 3 times a week may be enough to increase strength and endurance (Schoenfeld et al 2019) were:

  • Barbell back squat
  • Machine leg press
  • Unilateral machine leg extension

So if you do go to the gym it would be good to include these exercises in your strength programme too.

If you are a runner and have aches, pains or niggles or want advice about what you can do to reduce the risk of injury then please get in contact with us, 07835 712306 or book your appointment online today.

Next week we will be covering pelvis alignment issues runners experience. Please feel free to follow us on social media and share our blogs with your running friends/clubs.

 

Thanks for reading, happy running!

Related Posts

Case Study – Return to Sport after Lockdown
Case Study – Return to Sport after Lockdown

How a Mature Patient used Sports Therapy to treat Shoulder Pain With the recent return to sports, more and more sport related injuries are making their way into clinic. Symptoms An active 68-year-old man came into clinic presenting with a pinching pain in the front of...

read more