Are you an avid runner? Are you looking for ways to improve your running? How can you do this? First thing is to not only run BUT to do some strength training!
How Can Strength Training Help Your Running?
To be a runner you need to be strong! This is why it’s essential to do some strength training. Strength training strengthens your muscles and joints. The stronger your muscles and joints are, the less chance of having an injury. The repeated movements involved with running can be hard on the body. Running beyond your current level of fitness can put muscles, tendons and ligaments under a lot of stress!
Also keep in mind, the stronger you are the faster and longer you will be able to run! The better shape you are in, you can maintain a higher intensity for longer periods of time and the less energy you will use! If you want to run at your full potential you need to train!
How Can Resistance Bands Help Improve Your Running?
Who knew that using resistance bands could help improve your running ability! So how do resistance bands help? Resistance bands are a valuable asset to help build muscle. Resistance bands can target the major muscles you use while running, mainly your core, glutes and legs while also isolating a particular muscle group. There are unlimited exercises you can do using your resistance bands that will help make you a stronger runner! Check out the five exercises below!
5 Exercises Using your Bands to Improve Your Running
Although there are so many exercises you can do using your resistance bands to help improve your running, I chose five lower body exercises that I tend to do the most.
- Squat with band– There are a variation of types of squats and basically all squats are beneficial for runners. Squats are a full body exercise but especially work the largest muscle in your legs working the thighs, glutes (butt) and lower legs. Squatting builds strength and power. One of the biggest mistakes when doing squats is caving in the knees. Using a resistance band helps you prevent the caving knees. Using bands helps you get better results because they force you to keep good form and allow you to target a wider range of muscles.
2. Lateral Side Steps– When performing this exercise you are providing balance and stability but increasing the strength in and around your hip. Performing the lateral band walking exercise protects the knee by training correct movement patterns at the knee joint so it doesn’t cave in or out. In order for this exercise to be effective, you need to choose a resistance band with the right resistance.
3. Hip Extensions– When doing a hip extension exercise it works some of your strongest muscles such as gluteus maximus and hamstrings. Your gluteus maximus is the largest and strongest muscle in your lower body. It is the muscle that helps you stand upright and is the primary mover of the hip extension. Hip extension exercises help runners have stronger muscles that will minimize injury and help with flexibility. It also allows you to have more power in your leg’s forward swing. Using a resistance band to perform hip extensions is ideal. The bands allow you to get a greater range of motion and allow more muscles to be engaged at once.
4. Fire Hydrants– Fire hydrants help tone your butt and thighs but also strengthen the hips and tighten your core. This exercise targets hip mobility and stability. Hips are an important joint for runners. If you don’t have enough mobility in your hips your body will find it elsewhere such as your lower back. This can often lead to injuries.
5. Donkey Kicks– Donkey kicks are a functional exercise that work your glutes. Your glutes provide you with the ability to walk, run and jump. When you strengthen your glutes it increases your speed and agility in sports and everyday activities. Donkey kicks are a good exercise to combine with fire hydrants for a really effective glute workout. These exercises also work your core and shoulder muscles because your entire body has to remain stable while your leg lifts. If you want to feel the burn and really work your glutes then adding a resistance band is suggested!
These are only a few exercise that you can use resistance bands to help strengthen your muscles to improve your running!