Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Exercises For Runners

As much as I like to pride myself in being pretty fitness savvy, I have to admit that I learned something new; there are exercises that are beneficial for runners that will make them run taller, longer, and stronger.

While I did not know that these exercises are beneficial to runners, I have done every one of these exercises before, and I think it's safe to say that you have too (if not all of them, at least a few).

So here you go, 10 exercises that help runners run taller, longer, and stronger:

1.) Planks:
Prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart. Make sure your body is aligned, your abdominal muscles are tight, and shoulders are directly above the elbows and down and back, not hunched up. Hold this position for 45 seconds to one minute. Gradually add time as your core gets stronger.

Repeat 3-5 times.

2.)  Lower Body Russian Twist:
Lie on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent 90-degrees. Without changing the bend in your hips or knees, lower your legs to the left side of your body while keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor. Lift them back to the starting position, and repeat to the right side of your body. That's one repetition.

Repeat 10-12 times

3.) Scorpions (aka. Mountain Climber with a Twist):
Get into pushup position but with your feet on a bench. Raise your right knee toward your left shoulder as you rotate your hips up and to the left as far as you can. Then reverse directions, rotating your hips up and to the right, and try to touch your right foot to the back of your left shoulder (you won't be able to do it). That's one repetition. Continue for 30 seconds with your right leg, then switch legs.

Do as many as you can in 30 seconds. Try not to stop or rest in these 30 seconds.

4.) Back Extensions: 
Lie facedown on a stability ball with your feet spread wide for balance. Your elbows should be bent with your hands lightly touching the ground for initial support. Squeeze your glutes and lift your torso up until your body forms a straight line. As you lift your torso, allow your hands to come off the ground, keeping your elbows bent. Extend your arms overhead. Hold for one or two seconds. Release your arms and then your torso back down to the start position. That's one rep. Aim for 10-12. No stability ball? You can do the movement on an exercise mat: Raise your thighs and arms off the ground while your torso stays in contact with the ground.

Repeat 10-12 times

5.) Kettlebell Squat with Overhead Press:
Hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, and lower your body into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press the kettlebell above your head, and as you stand back up, return the kettlebell to the original position.

Repeat 10-12 times

6.) Overhead Lunge:
Hold a pair of dumbbells straight above your shoulders, with your arms straight and elbows locked. Step forward with your left leg, and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Return to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg. That's one repetition.

Repeat 6-8 times per leg

7.) Stability Ball Jacknife:
Get into pushup position but instead of placing your feet on the floor, rest your shins on a stability ball. Pull the stability ball toward your chest by raising your hips and rounding your back as you roll the ball forward with your feet.

Repeat 10-12 times

8.) Stability Ball Hip Extensions:
Lie on your back on the floor, and place your calves on a stability ball. Extend your arms to your sides to help support and balance your body. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Without allowing your hips to sag (keep with your body at all times), roll the ball as close as you can to your hips by bending your knees and pulling your heels toward you.

Repeat 6-8 times

9.) Rotational Shoulder Press:
Stand holding a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, your palms facing each other. Press the dumbbells overhead as you rotate to your left. Lower the dumbbells as you rotate back to the center, then rotate to the right as you press the weights upward again. That's one repetition.

Repeat 6-8 times

10.) Alternating Dumbell Row:
Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length in front of you, palms facing your thighs. Keeping your back naturally arched, bend at the hips and lower your torso until it's nearly parallel to the floor. Keep your arms straight as you bend your hips so that the dumbbells hang straight down [1]. Pull the dumbbell in your left hand by bending your elbow and raising your upper arm toward the middle of your back [2]. Lower and repeat with your right arm. That's one repetition.

Repeat 10-12 times

This set or 10 exercises should take to 30 minutes, and when done 2-3 times per week will gradually increase your strength and stability when running. Even if you aren`t a runner, these are great, and effective resistance training exercises.

***To read more in depth, and to watch instructional videos on how to properly perform these exercises, visit the original article found on Runner`s World :

Take Care,


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