The 10 Best Strength Training Exercises to Improve Your Running Performance

How to Improve Your Running Performance

Running is one of the most popular sports around the world. It is practiced by millions of people whether for improving their general health or to participate in races and competitions.

If you want to become a better and more efficient runner, here are 10 strength training exercises that will help you improve your performance:

Strength Training Exercises to Improve Your Running Performance

How to Improve Your Running Performance?

1. Running-specific strength training.

The most important strength training exercise for runners is running itself as it allows you to train all the muscles involved in running while also improving your running style. However, it is also recommended to do some more specific strength training exercises for runners too.

For instance, exercises such as wall sit and single-leg squats allow you to strength train the muscles around the hip (namely, glutes and hamstrings) which are responsible for a large part of your propulsion.

2. Planks.

This strength training exercise is one of the best exercises to strengthen your core muscles. Although it is an abdominal exercise, you also train the back, arms, and glutes.

When performed correctly, planks help you improve your balance and reduce the risk of injuries on your knees and lower back (these are some of the most common running-related injuries).

3. Calf Raises.

This strength training exercise targets your calf muscles which are responsible for pushing yourself forward once more during each step. Stronger calves will help you propel yourself further with every stride hence making running a lot easier!

The best way to perform this exercise is by doing it in front of a big table or similar surface that allows you to put all your weight onto one leg at a time while keeping everything else tight.

4. Lunges.

This strength training exercise is mainly done in order to strengthen your thighs but it also affects your hip flexors which are very important in running.

To perform this exercise, step forward with one leg while the other remains behind and lower into a lunge position before bringing up both legs at the same time. You can also add dumbbells for an extra workout!

5. Abdominal Exercises.

As mentioned earlier, planks are great ab exercises for runners but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't do other abdominal exercises too.

The best way to train your abdominal muscles is by doing crunches or different types of sit-ups which strengthen all the muscles around your core. If you also include a leg raise, it will allow you to work your lower abs too.

6. Dumbbell Flys.

This strength training exercise is great for runners as it targets your chest muscles which are needed in order to swing your arms faster and more efficiently. They will also help you maintain a proper upper body posture while running.

The best way to perform this exercise is by lying down on a bench and bringing the dumbbells up in an arc movement towards one side of your body before lowering them again. Just make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the whole movement.

7. Cable Cross-Overs.

This strength training exercise mainly targets the shoulders but it also affects the arms, chest, and back. It is important to perform this exercise correctly in order to reduce the risk of injuries as you want to avoid overstretching your shoulder joint.

To perform this exercise, stand a few feet away from a cable machine and grab the pulley with your hands about shoulder-width apart then slowly move them towards each other as you rotate your body to one side.

8. Seated rows.

This strength training exercise works all the muscles in your back which are important for runners as they help you maintain a good posture while running. In addition, strong back muscles also help you generate more power with each stride.

To perform this exercise, sit on a bench with a weight attached to a pulley in front of you then grab the handle with both hands and pull it towards your chest while keeping your back straight.

9. Push-ups.

One of the most popular strength training exercises, push-ups are great for runners as they mainly target your chest muscles which help you swing your arms faster. They will also help you improve your posture while running.

To perform this exercise, start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart then lower yourself down until your chest touches the ground before pushing back up to the starting position. Remember to keep your core engaged throughout the whole movement.

10. Bicep Curls.

This strength training exercise is mainly done in order to strengthen your arms but it also affects your shoulders and back. Stronger arms will help you swing them faster which in turn will make running a lot easier.

To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forwards. Then, curl your hands towards your shoulders while keeping your upper arms stationary. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat.

FAQs.

What are the best strength training exercises for runners?

The best strength training exercises for runners include squats, lunges, abdominal exercises, dumbbell flys, cable cross-overs, seated rows, push-ups, and bicep curls.

How often should I do strength training exercises?

It is recommended that you do strength training exercises two to three times per week.

How can strength training improve my running performance?

Strength training can improve your running performance by increasing your muscular endurance, which will help you to run further and for longer periods of time without tiring.

Additionally, strength training can also help to improve your running economy - meaning that you will require less energy to maintain the same pace.

Finally, regular strength training can help prevent injuries by strengthening the muscles and connective tissues around the joints.

What are some good strength training exercises for runners?

Some good strength training exercises for runners include squats, lunges, deadlifts, and step-ups. These exercises should be performed with proper form and under the supervision of a qualified coach or personal trainer.

Additionally, it is important to focus on quality over quantity when performing these exercises - meaning that you should perform fewer repetitions with heavier weights rather than more repetitions with lighter weights.

What are some tips for incorporating strength training into my running program?

Some tips for incorporating strength training into your running program include scheduling your sessions so that they do not interfere with your running workouts, and using a qualified coach or personal trainer to design a program specifically for you.

Additionally, it is important to focus on quality over quantity when performing the exercises - meaning that you should perform fewer repetitions with heavier weights rather than more repetitions with lighter weights.

Finally, be sure to warm up properly before each session and cool down afterwards.

The Bottom Line

Strength training exercises for runners are great because they allow you to improve your strength and endurance while also reducing the risk of injuries.

It is important that you perform the exercises correctly in order to avoid injuries and that you use a suitable weight so as not to have too much of an impact on your running performance.

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