If you ask most runners what exercise they do they will likely answer with “I run”. The End. Little do they realize that strength training is equally as important to their running performance as lacing up their shoes. Strength training allows you to address muscular weaknesses and imbalances that can leave you with poor running economy and vulnerable to injuries.
An appropriate strength training program will not only reduce the risk of injury but help maximize your running performance. Focus should be placed on the hip abductors (glute med), hip extensors (glute max), quadriceps, and your abdominals (transverse abdominals & obliques particularly). Single leg stability is essential so extra focus should be placed on unilateral exercises (Think about it- running is one single leg jump to the next so if you aren’t strong on one leg- your running won’t be efficient and will leave you prone to injury!)
If you are just starting a strength program, be sure to begin with basic core and glute exercises and progress your way to more advanced exercises. Some of the best exercises include bridges, clamshells, planks, side planks, squats, lunges, single leg dead lifts, step ups, monster walk, and some basic plyometrics (for that explosive power!).
Check back on Workout Wednesday for my go to program I use after runs!