Running is one of the most simple and basic practices yet can be the most problematic forms of exercise for many. As humans we are designed to run, and to run long distance, so don’t give up on the weekend trots because here are some great exercises to have you gliding along the track and overtaking that guy with his ipod strapped to his arm.
Running can place high demands on the body if you have poor biomechanics. As Jacinda, AKA Yoda, has told us recently, a 5km run will result in around 1,500 bone-jarring steps each leg. The ground reaction forces of running are around three times body weight with every step, so if your average 75kg runner ran 5km, that would equate to nearly 334,000kg of force dissipated through one foot, one ankle, one knee, one hip and the back. So creating a strong and stable base with good biomechanics is vital.
There is a mountain of evidence suggesting that periodised strength/resistance training used concurrently with endurance training can be an effective strategy in reducing musculoskeletal running injuries.
Incorporate these simple exercises into your training regime and reap the benefits of improved speed, power and efficiency.
Single Leg Deadlift
Why: To increase hamstring, glute and lower back strength along with ankle, knee, hip and core stability.
How: Standing on one leg, core switched with spine in neutral, bend forward to grasp weight. Keep pelvis level, push through the floor while bringing hips forward to starting position.
Quantity: 4 sets x 12 repetitions
Why: To improve core stability
How: With a band anchored to a pole parallel to the body, bring tension onto the band with both hands starting at chest. Keep the core switched on to prevent any twisting of the body as you press the band out.
Quantity: 3 sets x 15 repetitions
Feet Raised Bridge
Why: To increase hamstring, glute and lower back strength=
How: With feet raised on a bench, push through heels while maintaining a neutral spine left hips until legs and body are in a straight line.
To advance this, use one leg. Be sure to maintain good core control to prevent the pelvis tilting while pushing up.
Quantity: 3 sets x 20 repetitions
Knee Banded Squats
Why: To improve lower limb strength and hip stability
How: with a band looped around legs, just below the knees, begin squat movement while constantly pushing knees out against the band.
Quantity: 4 sets x 20 repetitions
Single Leg Hop
Why: To improve lower limb stability while practicing being light on foot.
How: Standing on a box, with one leg fall forward with the majority of weight landing on the front foot. Quickly and lightly rebound back up to be level with planted foot. Keep pelvis level and stable throughout the movement.
Quantity: 3 sets x 40 seconds
Take home: combine strength and resistance training with running specific exercises to optimise your running potential and reduce the risk of injury.
James is a passionate and explosive AFL back pocket. He is a physio at Evolutio in Melbourne coming from an experienced background in AFL, Strength & Conditioning and has completed a 45km trail run out at Mt Buller. James Currently works out of our South Yarra clinic at GW Performance on Tuesday afternoons and Fridays, Kew at the Workshop 3101 on Mondays and Thursdays.