For runners, strength training should be part of their general training program, which can decrease the incidence of injuries and improve the running economy.
What does strength training bring to a runner?
As we said, mainly two general contributions:
- Injury prevention, since the stimulation and mechanical overload of the different structures of our body, causes positive adaptations in them and strengthens them.
- Improving running economy through an increase in the stiffness or rigidity of the tendon, which improves cycle efficiency stretch-shortening (CEA), ie reducing the contact time on the ground with every stride.
These are two of the most relevant examples but we could continue. Next, some of the exercises for runners that may be present in their training.
Romanian asymmetric deadlift
This is a little-used variant of the Romanian deadlift. Performing it from an asymmetric stance is more similar to the demands that the hamstrings support during the race.
This variant also provides a further degree of stabilization work, especially if we perform the exercise with a dumbbell or kettlebell in one of our hands. This does not mean that the exercise is not useful if we do it with a bar but it is important to note that the additional work of core, in this case of lateral anti-flexion and anti-rotation, a runner can always do well, which in each Stride receives a moment of lateral flexion on its spine.
Single leg squat off box
The particularity of this exercise is the eccentric component that it has. For a runner, it may be of special interest since during the race there is a great eccentric demand on our knee, ischiosural and buttock flexors. For an asphalt runner, eccentric training is vital, especially over long distances where there is a great loss of running economy due to the loss of eccentric strength of these knee flexors.
On the other hand, for a trail runner, it is vital because of the irregularities of the terrain that further accentuate this eccentric demand during the race.
Bulgarian squat with a jump
This variant of Bulgarian squats combines power training (strength-speed) with deceleration, which does not cease to have an eccentric component.
During the concentric phase, that is, during the jump with the support leg, we must try to print the greatest amount of force against the ground in the shortest possible time, which is the definition of the power, or rather, the force speed.
S Abida an explosive step
This exercise is similar to the previous one but with a greater emphasis on the concentric phase and significantly eliminating or reducing the eccentric phase when falling.
In addition, this exercise also requires high force productions in the shortest possible time but starting from greater hip flexion when supporting the leg on an elevated surface. This can be especially useful in short distance runners where acceleration is key to winning the top positions since the start of the race.
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk
We could not finish this article without recommending a core exercise. The farmer’s walk is a lateral anti-flexion exercise, that is, during the exercise, the load we use will cause a moment of lateral flexion on our spine so the muscles that make up our core must be activated to counteract this disturbance.
For a runner, this moment of lateral flexion is reproduced in each stride by supporting the entire body weight on a single limb.