If you're a runner, you know that nailing distance and speed isn't just about putting in time on the track, treadmill, or sidewalks. This strength-focussed workout with weights can help you improve your running mechanics, which translates to a more efficient stride pattern and a better running posture, said Ashley Kelly, a NASM-certified personal trainer at Bach and an Olympic track and field runner.
Whether you run for speed, distance, or just for fun, there are a lot of factors that go into getting faster, stronger, and more comfortable as a runner. Ideally, focusing on your glute, core, and leg strength is a part of it. Your glutes initiate the hip extension you need to take a stride; your transverse abdominus stabilizes your spine and core to maintain form and posture; and your hamstrings and calves motor you forwards with every step. You'll also notice there are a lot of single-leg exercises in this workout. To be an efficient runner, Ashley explained, you need to be able to stabilise your body on just one leg every time you stride.
That's all a long way of saying that this running-targeted strength workout will help you improve your mechanics to become a stronger, more efficient runner, and that has its own rewards. A more efficient stride means less energy used and better performance in terms of speed and comfort. In other words, improving your form can help you run faster and longer and feel better doing it.
Equipment needed: Two pairs of dumbbells, one pair of medium to heavy weight (here's how to choose the right weight) and one pair of three to five pounds.
Directions: Start with a dynamic warmup like this one. Then, complete the following workout as a circuit, completing the set number of reps for each exercise and then starting over from the top for three full rounds. Take a rest of 60-90 seconds between each round. Finish with a full-body stretching session.
Single-leg deadlift with single-arm press and hip flexion