Focus: Strengthening our backs and our favorite kind of party!!!

Why the heck do we want to strength train?  Three simple answers:

1.  Strength training improves our form which makes us more efficient runners.  The more efficient we are the faster we will be and the longer we will last out on the roads.  We will use less energy to go faster which is HUGE if we are wanting to improve our running!

2.  Stronger muscles = more protection for our bones/joints = less injuries.

3.  ‘Strength training helps to fight fatigue by training the body to be able to draw from fast-twitch fibers late in an endurance event.’ –Hansons

Let’s focus in on our backs today, shall we?

I can’t tell you how many races I have started off with great form only to finish with the opposite.  My back gets tired towards the end and I find with each mile of the race my posture sinks a bit.  We take a whole lot of steps during each and every run and with each time that our foot hits the ground our backs absorb a lot of force.  The stronger my back is, the better it will handle each foot strike.  The same thing goes for my daily life… I start out the beginning of the day with good posture and by the end of the day my posture is shot… because I am tired.  SO, one of my many mini focuses currently is strengthening my back and I would love for you to join in with me. 

I’ve got 5 exercises to help that back of yours get stronger to help your running and every day posture!

***Superman:  While lying on your stomach on the ground with your hands directly stretched in front of you and your legs directly behind you (everything about shoulder width apart), contract your lower back muscles to raise your arms, head, chest and legs a few inches up above the ground.   Hold for about 2-3 seconds before returning to your starting position, repeat 12-15 times per set.    

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****Start on your hands and knees and extend your left arm and right leg out at the same time.  Hold this position for 3-5 seconds before slowly bringing your elbow towards your knee (hold here for a few seconds too).  Repeat 8-10 times and then switch to the other leg/arm.   Keep these slow and your core tight.  

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****Pushup and dumbell row with each arm.  After you do a push-up over the dumbbells, row with the left arm and then row with your right arm.  Repeat 10-12 times per set!

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****Side Planks (normal planks too… I talk about those a lot already so let’s add in some side planks:)!  I try to hold these about 45 seconds on each side, 4 times on each side.  

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*****Cobra on the exercise ball.  Lie on the top of your a stability ball with your legs straight behind you.  I like to keep my hands behind my head but you can let your arms hang down or have them straight behind you (like here).  Raise your head/chest/shoulders/arms by contracting your lower back and glutes.  Repeat 10-12 per set times holding for 5 seconds each time before returning to the neutral position.

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****If you find your posture starting to sink during one of your runs then reset your posture by reaching up over your head (either while you are running or you can do it at a stoplight while waiting to cross the road;) because it will pull everything into place again!!!

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PPS here is a fun form workout that I’ve done in the past:

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Just the normal shenanigans in our neck of the woods.  I feel like we somehow eat dinner earlier and earlier every day… yesterday was a 5 pm dinner at home.  It was great.

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We were invited over to an ice cream party afterwards and Ms. Brooke did not skimp on the sprinkles.  Those are her jam.

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We did some Easter coloring while I made a dent in this bag we picked up yesterday.  My current addiction.

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And my dad came over to help put together one last thing and Brooke enjoyed all of the styrofoam. 

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And then I had to go out and grab a few things and didn’t realize until I was in the store that I still had my slippers on.  I’m losing it. 

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What time do you usually eat dinner?  

Breakfast, lunch or dinner—> which one is your biggest meal of the day?

What have some of your fitness focuses been lately?

Popcorn lovers—>  favorite kind/brand/recipe/let’s have a deep discussion about this stuff please.

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58 comments

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I wore my slippers to pick up our dinner last night. I do it all the time.

Usually we eat around 7. Yesterday it was almost 9. I assume when we have kids it will get earlier and earlier!

I love Popcorn Indiana Kettle Corn. I figured that it is only like 600 calories or something if I eat the whole bag in one sitting. So that’s way better than if I eat a whole bag of chocolate, right? It is so hard to stop!!

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We usually eat dinner around 6pm. And dinner is usually my biggest meal of the day, but I eat quite a big lunch and breakfast too…

I love that red bag of kettlecorn! Lol can’t remember the brand!

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Lunch is always my biggest meal.
I love boom chick pop kettle corn!
I’ve been eating pop secret microwave100 calorie bags too but my belly is not happy about it. Fiber overload I suppose.

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Awesome topic with how our back strength impacts our running. I noticed some changes after I had my daughters… Lots of back pain and weakness during runs. I will be incorporating these excercises !! Currently, I am working on getting my consistency back with my running, so far so good!

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This is so important and I think any runner can benefit from strength training. I’ve found I run my best when I work my core a few times a week. I’ve actually been looking for some new core/strength activities so this was super helpful. Thanks for sharing Janae!

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We usually eat dinner at 6:30-7. It’s also the biggest meal of the day, although not significantly larger than lunch because my appetite is strong all day long.
Fitness focus has been strength lately, especially the back!

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I usually eat around 6, but it varies. Last night I made baked ziti for the first time, and we are eating it before bowling tonight. Dinner is definitely my biggest meal of the day, and you can bet I’ll eat a lot of the baked ziti!

I love that kind of Boom Chicka Pop! I’m pretty sure I could eat it every day and never get tired of it. :)

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I didn’t realize that stretching your arms above your back reset everything, although every time I start feeling fatigued I always do it just because it feels good. I’m glad it’s actually doing something :)

I’ve definitely been there with the slippers out in public before. Actually, at work I keep a pair of slippers under my desk. I figure, hey if I’m going to spend 8 hours here per day I might as well be comfortable. Plus you know, they feel good on tired runner’s feet! One time I forgot I was wearing them and walked out of the office to lunch! Another time I always walked into a meeting in the conference room with them on! That would have been interesting! haha

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*almost walked into a meeting.

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I have worn them into conference rooms before. :)

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The slippers are hilarious.

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My husband nearly went to work in slippers yesterday. I had a good laugh about it.
Fitness focus is stretching a lot more, even if it means less strength training.
Popcorn: Air popper, nutri yeast, a little olive oil, garlic powder, and maybe a teeny bit of light soy sauce.

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I don’t mean to suggest I am laughing AT you!!! I have done very similar things!!!! :) :)

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Your popcorn sounds amazing! Oh please laugh at me… I did ha:)

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Strengthening your back is always a good idea! Last year Dan hurt his back and learned all of these exercises from his chiro and now I add it to my own workouts. It makes such a big difference!

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Too bad he had to deal with injury first :( Strong core = better form!

I’m such a big fan of strength training to help our bodies perform better!

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Ha! Love the slippers. My biggest meal is usually lunch or dinner and I try to eat around 6:30 or 7. I feel like the time-change totally threw me off though! In the winter, I really try and focus more on strength training and then about this time, I will start switching to more running. I might even start a new plan!

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I love a solid dinner because it’s so good to eat at the end of a long day! But I think eating a big breakfast sets me up for a solid day. My latest fitness focus has been strength and consistency. Keeping my body to feel good when running xx

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I bought some of that popcorn yesterday and accidentally ate half the bag in one sitting. Oops!
My husband gets home from work between 7-7:30 so that’s when we eat dinner. It’s usually my biggest meal because I work in a middle school cafeteria and don’t eat a lot there.
Thanks for the reminder to strength train! I’ve been seriously slacking on that front lately.

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My meals are all typically the same size I think! Love those strength moves for the back/core although I’ve been slacking lately. We eat dinner later since activities go until 6 and then I have to cook but my ideal time would be around 6, no later!

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Great back strengthening tips, especially for the lower back! I also love to add in any kind of row or pulldown/pullup for the midback, lats, etc! You’re so right, strength training is very important for all of us to include in our fitness routines.

I used to wear slippers with rubber soles to school everyday in University! I’m sure I could get away with that again at work… they make some very nice looking slippers now :P

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Dinner is usually my biggest meal of the day and typically consumed around 8pm! Probably not great to eat that late but … Do what you gotta do!

Favorite type of popcorn – Garrett’s popcorn from Chicago!!! The Chicago mix is the BEST … Caramel and cheese popcorn mixed together … You gotta try it out!!

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I like to eat on the early side, otherwise I get too hungry and I hate going to bed overly full. I love that pure barre tricks me into strength training. It’s the greatest workout I’ve ever added to my routine to compliment running

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Ooh! That seems like a simple enough workout that even I could do. ;)

Lately I have really been trying to focus on adding in more cross/strength training and being more mindful of what I eat and drink. It’s a slow process, but I think I’m doing well.

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Oh my goodness I love popcorn! I tried my first bag of Boom Chicka Pop from Costco after trying a free sample. I literally made myself sick from eating too much haha

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Biggest meal is lunch. I think it is because it is why Hope naps and I just keep thinking things sound good.

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It depends if I ran in the morning or if I will be completing an evening run. If I run in the morning dinner ends up being super early (Like 4:30 5pm) but if my run is in the evening I end up eating around 6 or 7 pm (which I am normally hangry by then and eat whatever gets done cooking and then onto the next thing…I am weird like that).

Biggest meal of the day is for sure dinner. Unless it is Saturday & Sunday – then it is breakfast.

Fitness focus as of late is getting out of my comfort zone and running faster than I have in the past (especially when on the treadmill) I know that to get faster, I have to practice being faster. I am seeing some results and it is tough, but worth the extra effort and discomfort!

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I’m a recent convert to the air popper. I LOVE freshly popped popcorn w/some melted butter and salt!

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I agree, fresh popcorn is so delicious!

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We eat dinner anytime between 5 and 6 every night. It’s also our biggest meal of the day. I love breakfast though too so we do a lot of breakfast for dinner. Lunch is our hardest meal because I never want to take the time to make something good.

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I think dinner may be slightly larger than other meals, except for practice nights. We eat too late and I am trying to change that. My husband is a music teacher and has evening lessons so some nights dinner is at 8 or a tad later. And my running group meets at 7pm so dinner is late that night too.

My fitness focus is strengthening my hips and glutes. I tend to get my injuries if I don’t work the stabilizing muscles.

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I am not able to workout until after work, so I usually end up eating dinner a little late.
I would say my biggest meal of the day is either lunch or breakfast. That way I can make it through my workout without starving!!
Ab workouts have been my fitness focus lately. I’ve been trying to do them every day.
I LOVE kettle corn!!

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Hahaha I wear slippers to the store as well! I eat eat dinner around 7 usually and I love kettle popcorn!

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Cape Cod (like the potato chips) has started making some DELICIOUS white cheddar popcorn… Omg so good.

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We usually eat dinner around 630 or 7! These are all awesome exercises and I agree, my posture could definitely use some improving too! Oh gosh I love any and all popcorn. I have a soft spot for kettle corn though :)

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I’m a strict 6pm eater. The clock changes and you best believe I am shoveling food into my mouth. My favorite meal is easily breakfast though. I could have breakfast anytime of day and pretty much do because I love it so much (eggs are the perfect food always).

Favorite kind of popcorn is Garretts Chicago mix. I’m a Chicago girl through and through and there’s something about caramel corn mixed with cheese corn that works in the strangest, most wonderful way.

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I try to eat later, otherwise I just get more and more hungry. 7:30 works pretty well for me during the week. But on weekends I can eat earlier.
Last night I had dinner at 6 and was starving again at 10. I’m a big eater though.

Breakfast and dinner are my biggest meals.

I am working on form a lot right now as I’m training for my half.
Thanks for sharing this workout! I haven’t done those exercises in awhile!!

I love making homemade popcorn in a pan, but I haven’t in awhile. I love it with some paramesan cheese!

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Thanks for sharing those back stretches! I tend to get back pain very easily these days and I’m always open to different ways to make it feel better.

Dinner is my biggest meal and I usually eat around 7!

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We usually eat around 6pm or so. Rarely before 5:30pm

I just like plain popcorn with butter – yum!

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You need to try this popcorn: http://www.amazon.com/Lesserevil-Buddha-Organic-Popcorn-Himalayan/dp/B00MRMSX5S
My current fav is wasabi. Sweet and salty is REALLY good too!

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Purchasing right now. THANK YOU MOLLIE!! I hope you are having an awesome Thursday!

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As of late, we have been eating dinner SUPER late. I run right after work and they have been longer runs / runs away from home with groups. So I get home, and prep dinner and sit down to eat at 8 pm :(

Biggest meal is dinner..but I am a snacker so never a huge meal.

Abs – thanks a ton for the back exercises – so important and I will be using these tonight!!

Boom Chicka is amazing – I love Chicago mix as well ( GH Cretors). my kids also make one with air popcorn, melted PB, melted chocolate, and toasted pecans. Oh goodness!

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My coach always tells us to “tuck our butts” (pelvic tilts). By the end of tough runs or during recovery runs after tough runs, this is the most challenging thing for me to do. Back strength training ftw!

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I like that Ashley! Thanks for sharing and I will be tucking my butt now:) THANKS!

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I’ve ended up at Target (down the road from my house) without mascara and when you get in your 30’s not wearing it can be enough to scare a small child. Back is part of the core. We must work it!

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Boom Chicka Pop can’t be in our house or I will LITERALLY eat the entire bag :) oops..

Also, laughing out loud at the slippers! They kinda work though ;) It would have been worse

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I am such a grazer! I feel like I eat all day, but since I wake up so early to run I am always ready for dinner at about 4:30.

Popcorn is the best treat! I am obsessed with Naked Popcorn from Costco, it’s so good!

My focus has been making sure I get in my tempo, speed work, and a long run in each week in preparation for Boston. I love these strength moves and I am excited to refocus on more strength training when Boston is over. I miss it! Happy running!

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Hahah I’ve totally left the house in slippers before!! #noshame.

I’d say my biggest meal is breakfast. I always wake up STARVED!! Plus breakfast food is the best kind of food.

My focus as of late has been a lot of stretching and prenatal yoga. I think it’s so easy to overlook stretching but my body thanks me for it later!

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Digging homemade cheese popcorn! Just pop some kernels in oil on the stove top. Once popped, throw in a paper bag and shake it up with some of this powdered cheese , ah-mazing!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DUF3O32/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3?pf_rd_p=1944687542&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00016LZT8&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=059MXPE8GRTD8R31T2CY

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Okay, that sounds like heaven. I will be getting that now. THANKS CHRISTINE!

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I am going to try some of those exercises! Thanks:)

And where is your tank from? I love it!

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Hey Amanda! It is a Brooks tank… so great for hot runs! Mine is from last year but this one is similar fabric/cut wise!

http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/brooks-ghost-racerback-running-tank/221047.html?dwvar_221047_color=306#sz=19&start=9

Hope you have a fabulous day!

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These exercises will be perfect for me, thank you! I really need to strengthen my lower back!……I usually eat dinner super early, around 4 or 5 and it is the biggest meal of my day.

I swear I could live on popcorn alone…. the very best is done at home, in an air popper with lots of butter and salt .

I’m absolutely certain Brooke would love bubble wrap too, and I think your slippers are adorable. <3

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I usually eat dinner between 6 and 7……..depending on if my husband is working or not. Lunch is my biggest meal of the day……..I get hungry around 11 even if I eat a big breakfast! I usually run after work instead of first thing in the morning though, so I think fueling up at lunch is best for me because I have plenty of energy for my run.

I love that kettle corn popcorn, too! I love kettle corn or homemade popcorn made in a hot air popper, with a bit of I Can’t believe it’s not butter spray and parsley sprinkled on it………or parmesan cheese! I worked at a movie theatre in high school and since then I have no desire for regular popped popcorn!

Fitness focus: I got a foam roller and now I am trying to figure out how to use it!

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My biggest meal of the day is normally lunch or dinner, I don’t like a heavy breakfast. Love your slippers and you totally rocked them ha!

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I left the house without socks the other day. I am 37 weeks pregnant and had to weigh the cost of wanting the socks and going back up the stairs…..no socks won!

I am a lunch girl! I like a medium breakfast followed by a morning snack, then a big ole lunch. Dinners are much lighter (normally between 5-6 p.m.) , as I cannot sleep on a full stomach.

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Love the slippers, haha!

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Great back workout

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