Most runners just like running! However it is important for the body to do different types of exercise particularly strength & conditioning & stretching. This can help to prevent injury & to recover from those hard running sessions.
I have put together just three exercises that can be done in the comfort of you own home that will work some of the main muscle groups used when running.
Lie on your back with your knees bent & heels in line with your buttocks. Squeeze your gluteal
muscles (buttocks), push down through your feet & lift your pelvis upwards. Keep your arms by your sides & make sure you maintain a good posture (do not arch your back when you get to the top). As you lift up,
contract your deep abdominal (tummy) muscles by gently drawing your belly button towards your spine. Pause at the top & slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 - 12 times to start off with & then add more sets i.e 3 x 1-12 reps as you get stronger.
- Instead of having your arms alongside your body, cross them over your chest to work your stabilising muscles harder.
- Move onto a single leg bridge. Start with one leg in table top (knee & hip at 90 degrees & push up through one foot keeping your pelvis stable (do 5 one side & then switch to the other).
Superman from 4 Point Kneeling
Kneel on all 4s making sure that your hands are under your shoulders & knees under your hips. Lengthen one leg straight out behind you keeping your pelvis in neutral (make sure you are not curving your low back). Keep your toes pointed & lift your leg to hip height (or as high as you can without tilting your pelvis). At the same time, raise your opposite arm forwards to shoulder height. Draw your arm & leg down & back to the start position at the same time.
- Lift your feet slightly up off the mat to work the stabilising muscles harder.
Lie on your side on your forearm with your elbow directly underneath your shoulder. Have your feet together (one on top of the other) or one in front of the other & your top arm along your body. Lift your pelvis to form a bridge between your forearm & feet making sure your are in a straight diagonal line. Pause at the top before lowering back down. You can pulse up & down with or without touching the floor in between reps or you can hold at the top, gradually increasing the time as you get stronger.
Regression (easier option):
- Bend your knees so your heels go behind you. Your hips can be slightly bent but make sure they are stacked one on top of the other. As you lift your pelvis up keep your shins & feet down.
If you would like any further ideas to help to improve your strength for running please get in contact with me on 07787 563775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check with your GP or other health professional before starting a new exercise programme to avoid/reduce the risk of injury.