5 strength exercises that are indispensable for runners!
Top 5 exercises for runners
Squads is perhaps the most well-known strength exercise that you will see in every sport - whether you are playing football, cycling, playing tennis or running. These exercises provide stronger thighs, buttocks and core. How do you do these exercises? Stand up straight and make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Go deep down on your knees and push your hips back. Lower your body until your knees are about the same distance as your feet. Once you are at the lowest point, hold this pose for up to a second and push yourself back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps for this exercise.
Lunges are similar to the squads and can also be seen as squad 2.0. Instead of going through both knees, do that with one leg only. As with the squads, start with both feet together and keep them shoulder width apart. Step forward with your right leg and lower yourself far enough until the knee of your back leg just doesn't touch the ground. Hold this position for up to a second and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise with your left leg, alternating constantly until you have stepped forward 20 times, which is 10 times with your left leg and 10 times with your right leg. For better balance, you can place your hands on your hips or back of your head.
The deadlift is not only good exercise for bodybuilders, but also very suitable for runners. With this exercise, you might think you're training your leg muscles with this (partly true), but it's really your back muscles that need to do the most work. The deadlift is therefore an exercise with which you can train your leg muscles, back muscles and abdominal muscles. So an all-rounder. You do need a barbell for this exercise, so if you don't have it at home, a gym is the best solution. Grab the barbell (overhead) and make sure your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width. Lift the barbell by placing your body in a standing position while straightening your back. Hold this position for a second and bend your knees again until the barbell hits the floor. Do this exercise in 3 sets of 10 repetitions and increase the weights as soon as the exercise gets too light.
Just like the first two exercises in this blog, planking is an exercise that you can do anywhere. All you have to do is lean your body on your forearms while they are fully extended. Make sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows. Hold this pose for 60 to 90 seconds and then stand up again. Easy right? Make no mistake, because after half a minute your abs will really burn! After the exercise, stand up again in seconds and take a break of 45 to 60 seconds. Do this exercise in 3 sets of 60 to 90 seconds.
Precisely because you have to stay in the same position for a long time, this is not the most exciting exercise, but fortunately it can also be varied. For example, the so-called Superman Plank is a nicer, but above all heavier alternative. Your starting position is the regular plank, but also extend your left arm and lift your right leg at the same time. Hold this for 5 seconds in a stretched position and slowly return to the starting position. Then do the same with your right arm and left leg. Repeat this exercise 5 times with both sides, or 10 times for 5 seconds. Not nearly as easy as you might think!
5. Calf raises
After having treated a number of exercises for your upper legs and core muscles, it is now the turn of your lower legs, or your calf muscles. These muscles are also very important during running and the so-called calf raises are perfect for that. You can perform this exercise on a flat surface, but it is best to stand on an elevation or step. Make sure you stand with your toes on the edge of the platform and the heels of your feet hang over the platform. Then lift your heels so that you stand upright on your toes. Hold this position for a second and slowly lower your heels. Don't lower yourself too quickly because we don't want you to lose your balance and fall off the platform! ;-) Do this exercise with 3 sets of 20 repetitions.
As you have read, there is plenty of work to be done. Do you know a few more good strength exercises for fellow runners or are you curious how STOX Energy's compression socks will improve your performance?