You want to be a runner huh? And you want to run forever, right? The best runners aren’t the best just cause they run all the time, but because they also put in work off of the pavement as well. The weight room isn’t just for meatheads, but is one of the most crucial places to improve your stride and form strength. Here are 6 moves to start improving your long runs.
1. Side Plank with Rotation
Most people forget that a weak core means a poor run. The stronger you are, the stronger your stride and the longer your run. These rotating planks are excellent since they recreate the rotation in your run and call on your abs, arms, and back.
2. Split Squat Hops
This is an excellent move to really work your quads. The split squat can be a tough starting move or finisher to begin with, but amplifying the stress on the quad by adding a hop means your not only working your quads, but your glutes and balance as well.
3. BOSU Ball Jackknifes (add side to side)
A huge tip from those who long distance and trail running, is that “lifting” your legs is better than just moving them forward. Especially when doing any runs that include incline. And how are you lifting? Via your core of course. You want to use your midsection to lift your legs, so you better strengthen your body to make that happen. Check out these jackknifes!
4. Close Grip and Wide Grip Rows
A strong back is crucial for keeping your stride and form strong and correct. When you get tired, your shoulders begin falling in, closing your chest and making it harder to take in full breaths. Keeping a strong back means that you’ll stay straight up and open for longer, and will help your arms to continue moving powerfully.
5. Medicine Ball Pushups
Again, this is a compound move that works the essentials for running: back, arms, core…and chest. With everything, balance is key, and having a strong chest as well as back keeps all muscles healthy and active. This move can also help you work on imbalances with which arm is weaker.
6. Single Legged Leg Press for Explosiveness
While we love all things weights, and of course encourage squatting and other leg compound moves, if you’re going to do any machine move for legs, do these. Working your hamstrings, you can work out any strength imbalances you may have from one leg to the other. Also, the explosiveness at the end of the move (through the push) will translate to your push in each step on the pavement.