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Runners Strength Training: 3 Exercises That Help Your Running Technique

by Athleticmuscle.net
25 Nov 2019

Guest post from athleticmuscle.net.

It can be a surprise to runners that the secret to running faster and more efficiently often lies not in lacing up and hitting the pavement, but in focussing on strength training and mobility exercises.

Strength training literally strengthens and stretches your muscles – both those that are primary to running and those that are under worked in a running-only fitness routine.

Stronger, more flexible muscles translate to less risk of injury and more explosive power on your runs while providing significant benefits in maintaining proper running form

Paired with well-balanced nutrition to fuel your calorie-burning workouts adequately, strength training and mobility exercises can help improve your running posture and cut precious seconds off your PB.

Chin Tucks

Chin tucks help you maintain proper neck posture on and off the road. While you are running, it’s important to maintain a forward gaze and hold your head upright. Looking downwards in front of you can result in your head and shoulders falling forward.

Constantly doing this affects your running posture, saps your energy fast and interferes with your running efficiency. In order to avoid this mistake, strengthening of the deep cervical flexors which support the head is necessary.

How to:

  1. Lay back or stand upright with your neck in its natural position of alignment to your spine.
  2. To activate your neck flexors, perform a nodding motion with your head, resulting in your chin tucking.  Elevate your head a bit higher and maintain this position for about 2 seconds before relieving the effort on your neck by lowering your head.
  3. Carry out the action 6 to 8 times while ensuring that you maintain the natural curve in your neck all through the exercise.

Ankle Mobility Exercise

The main function of the ankle mobility exercise is to enhance an upright posture. Basically, the average running stance is a slight forward lean. In order to do this, you would need to lean forward from your ankles while managing to keep a neutral and strong core in the same beat.

Improved ankle flexibility helps you run with an upright posture and protects your lower back and knees from injury.

How to:

  1. Stand upright and face a wall while ensuring that the toes of one of your feet are directly against the door frame or wall.
  2. Shift your body weight on to your front heel while placing your hands on the wall for support.
  3. Release your body to move forward by bending your front knee until the back of your ankle experiences a stretch. Once you have achieved this, pulse in and out of this position gradually and gently.
  4. If your front knee easily touches the wall when you make the bending motion, you could move your back foot backward gradually until you feel your front knee no longer touching the wall when you're bending.

Hip Mobility Exercise

In order to make use of your quads and glutes to move your legs and maintain a strong neutral spine and core, you need adequate flexibility in your hip. Enhanced hip mobility easily guarantees a proper running technique, a stable pelvic position and an upright posture.

One of the major exercises that help to improve hip mobility is high knee walks. High knee walks are excellent for improving flexibility in your hips to the extent where you can raise your knee in a forward motion while the other leg serves to stabilise you.

How to:

  1. Stand upright and make as if to take a step forward.
  2. Flex your hip and move your right knee up to your chest; grab your shin to help pull your knee very close to your chest.
  3. Maintain this position and ensure that your chest remains up and your back remains flat.
  4. Relax and let your leg go. Repeat the same motion on the other leg as you make to take another step forward.

Team up these strength and mobility-building exercises to improve your running technique with a proper CrossFit conditioning workout. CrossFit workouts are designed to help you increase the storage and release of energy while you are running.

This way you can run faster and longer, which is of course exactly what you want.

Happy running!