Nutrition and Fitness Lindsay Guinaugh | 7 years ago

Run Better with 4 Strength training Moves

For most runners, training tends to focus on improving pace and distance. But many runners would benefit from focusing a little bit more on developing strength.

Research has shown that working on strengthening key areas does improve performance. Recent studies have also shown that as little as six weeks of proper weight training can significantly reduce or completely relieve a runner’s knee, hip and low back pain. Even so, most runners don’t really work on strength when it comes to performance, and that’s a mistake. Core strength can improve performance in a variety of ways:
  • A stronger core helps runners absorb impact more efficiently
  • When you improve your strength, you are better able to take on hills and your body uses oxygen more efficiently
  • Ultimately, helping you run faster and farther
Building strength doesn’t mean runners need to spend hours in the gym. There are a lot of strengthening exercises that don’t require any equipment, and can be done using bodyweight alone. Try these four exercises as part of an overall strength-training program to improve performance and reduce your risk of injury.

1. Push Ups

  • 3 sets, 10 to 20 repetitions
  • Progress from stable to unstable surfaces
  • Purpose: Instability forces body awareness

 2. Lateral Bridge

  • 3 sets, 10 repetitions
  • Use a chair, bench or Swiss ball
  • Push your bottom foot into the ball so that the entire body rises off the floor while keeping the spine stable
  • Purpose: Engages lateral core stabilizers

3. Side-lying Hip Adduction

  • 3 sets, 10 to 15 repetitions
  • Lie on side raise lower leg up towards midline; increase difficulty with the top leg up on a Swiss ball or chair and push down raising body up
  • Purpose: Strengthens hip abductors

 4. Barrier Jumps

  • 2 to 3 sets, 30 seconds
  • Jumping back and forth sideways over a barrier
  • Purpose: Recruits lateral hip stabilizers
  Recommended by Michael Agnone, a physical therapist at Carolinas Rehabilitation. For more information about establishing a strength-training program or other injury-prevention practices, call 877-REHAB51 or visit