Butt ... I love to Run

Running is an excellent form of exercise as it demands work from the entire body however, most professional runners also under go a specific weight training programme to help strengthen and support their muscles. 

If you love to run, then I highly recommend protecting the longevity of your joints with regular weight training. You might be surprised at how much it will improve your speed and endurance.

When New Balance asked me to suggest some strengthening exercises for runners, I was excited to share with them some movements that focus on working the glutes, hamstrings and TVA (transverse abdomens), because it’s actually where the predominant force comes from while running. If the glutes are weak, the quads and other leg muscles will often attempt to compensate for this weakness potentially leading to knee or other joint issues. Strong glutes and core/TVA also help to protect the lower back from pain and injury. 

Prevention is better than a cure so I highly recommend adding these simple but effective exercises into your non running days:

 Step Back Lunge - although a knee dominant movement (usually recruiting more of the quadriceps), a longer stride lunge will demand more from the glute and hamstring muscles. Make sure you drive through the heel to stand up. Carrying a kettle bell on one side enables you to enhance contralateral stability demanding more from your core.

Step Back Lunge - although a knee dominant movement (usually recruiting more of the quadriceps), a longer stride lunge will demand more from the glute and hamstring muscles. Make sure you drive through the heel to stand up. Carrying a kettle bell on one side enables you to enhance contralateral stability demanding more from your core.

 Single Leg RDL - this is a tricky exercise, but a highly effective one for the glutes. Correctly performing even a regular deadlift with both feet on the ground can be complicated, let alone one foot. However I believe it’s essential that as a runner you become proficient at stabilising on one leg. Keep your spine neutral throughout the movement and hinge from the hips. Avoid rounding the spine and be sure to engage the lats (Latisimuss Dorsi).

Single Leg RDL - this is a tricky exercise, but a highly effective one for the glutes. Correctly performing even a regular deadlift with both feet on the ground can be complicated, let alone one foot. However I believe it’s essential that as a runner you become proficient at stabilising on one leg. Keep your spine neutral throughout the movement and hinge from the hips. Avoid rounding the spine and be sure to engage the lats (Latisimuss Dorsi).

 Squat - This is not like a regular squat as the Kettle Bell is again loading up one particular side of your body. This puts extra demand on your core to stabilise the spine and keep you moving safely and efficiently. To encourage a little extra engagement through the glutes, try sitting back as you drop into the squat, rather than just moving up and down. You can also help to engage the glutes a little more by widening your foot stance beyond the shoulders. Make that booty work.

Squat - This is not like a regular squat as the Kettle Bell is again loading up one particular side of your body. This puts extra demand on your core to stabilise the spine and keep you moving safely and efficiently. To encourage a little extra engagement through the glutes, try sitting back as you drop into the squat, rather than just moving up and down. You can also help to engage the glutes a little more by widening your foot stance beyond the shoulders. Make that booty work.

 

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