Top 3 Exercises to Balance out your Running

The weather is improving and so might be your activity level! Many people start to ramp up their running kilometers in the summer months. The fresh air, the “runners high”, picking up a new hobby, or maybe the need to clear the head from COVID19 thoughts. Regardless of your “why” you run, we want to make sure you keep running! There are many benefits to running but there are also many benefits to adding exercise to your running routine. This is often called “cross training”. A couple benefits of cross training include:

  1. Injury Prevention
  2. Promote recovery
  3. Assist with muscle imbalances
  4. Increase running strength and efficiency 

I wanted to share 3 of my favorite exercises for runners. These can be done if you are a beginner or experienced runner. 

Notes:

  • Each of these movements should be done slow and controlled
  • They target main muscle groups of your lower body 
  • They focus on single leg strength and stability 
  • Reps and Sets: Once you feel comfortable with the balance component, a good beginning goal is 2 sets of 6-8/side. Gradually work your way up to 3 sets of 10-12/side
  • Strength training should be done at least 2x/week to show benefit

 

Single Leg Deadlift

  • Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Hold a kettlebell, a barbell or two dumbbells in your hands down in front of you.
  • Lean forward in your hips, shifting your weight onto one leg while your other leg engages and starts to extend straight behind you. (Keeping the torso and elevated leg in a nice line)
  • Lift your extended leg and move your upper body forward until your body forms a “T”. Your arms should be hanging straight down, holding onto the weight close to your body
  • Keep a slight bend in your standing leg. 
  • Slowly bring in your extended leg and return to starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Single Leg Squat to Chair 

  • Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart. Place a chair behind you as a target (you can alway place a pillow or towels on the chair if you cannot get to the depth of the seat alone).
  • Holding the non-working leg off the floor in front of you, sit yourself back and down in an attempt to sit on the chair. Either sit fully or tap the chair and return to a standing position.
  • Ensure to keep your knee behind the toes and pointing forwards. Keep your chest up.

Split Stance Lunge  

  • Starting position is with one leg stepped back, heel off the ground (Be sure not to have one foot behind the other).
  • Begin the movement by lowering your hips to the ground, allowing both knees to bend.
  • At the bottom of the movement both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, with the back knee hovering above the ground.
  • Avoid letting the front knee bend forward beyond your toes.
  • Push your front foot into the ground to return to the starting position

Give these a try and see how it affects your running. For more information regarding increased training, further strengthening and conditioning please reach out to the Acumen Team!

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