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.
****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.
****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!
****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.
*****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.
****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!!!
PPS here is a fun form workout that I’ve done in the past:
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.
We were invited over to an ice cream party afterwards and Ms. Brooke did not skimp on the sprinkles. Those are her jam.
We did some Easter coloring while I made a dent in this bag we picked up yesterday. My current addiction.
And my dad came over to help put together one last thing and Brooke enjoyed all of the styrofoam.
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.
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.