Running is a great athletic activity. While consistent practice is important to improving your skills, so is gaining strength. Sometimes, especially with winter approaching and the holiday season in full swing, it can be hard to incorporate yet another exercise component into your routine. But getting your strength training in now is a fantastic way to continue working on your running regimen even when temperatures plummet. Here are some quick routines that will help you become a better runner. Remember to check with your doctor before getting started.
Women’s Health magazine’s Strength Training for Runners combines weight-based exercises with bodyweight exercises for a circuit workout that will tone your entire body. This workout tests your balance and challenges your core from the start with weighted One-Legged Deadlifts and touches on all areas of major importance for runners, from shoulders to shins. When doing these exercises, be sure to follow the instructions. There are modifications to make certain exercises easier or harder — I tip my hat to anyone who would want to make Double-Duty Arm Raises harder by adding a balance challenge. Also, you can expect your arms to get a workout whether you try Plank Rows as directed or do the modified version. If you have less experience with weights or planks, start with the modified version. Always go with what works best for your body and level of fitness. While the static images for this workout don’t demonstrate the full range of motion as a GIF or video would, they do a good job conveying the movement involved in the exercises.
Sometimes, you may feel like working with weights; other times, bodyweight exercises are more your speed. No matter what mood you’re in, Women’s Running has got you covered with these two 10-minute circuit workouts. Women’s Running designed these workouts in part to improve range of motion, which is evident in the dynamic exercises from both routines.
The bodyweight circuit workout calls for 20 seconds of action followed by 20 seconds of rest. The exercises here, such as the Inchworm and Squat Thrusts, test your coordination, agility and speed, and each circuit is capped off with Mountain Climbers, which will really get your heart pumping just before that tiny 20-second break in between circuits. I really like the flow of this workout, in that you progress from Alternating Lateral Lunges, a standing exercise, to floor work, so there’s not a lot of volleying back and forth between standing and floor exercises within the circuit.
The weighted circuit workout is simple yet challenging. This workout is made up of compound movements, such as the Squat with Rotational Press, so your whole body is working together to complete each exercise. Focusing on the movement involved actually made this workout feel fresh and fun. Also, unlike the bodyweight routine, you only take a break in between circuits.
If you’re well-versed in proper form for exercises like squats and lunges, these two routines are a great way to shake things up and increase the degree of difficulty for your workout. Like the Women’s Health workout, this routine is demonstrated using static images, so you really need to understand the form and movement involved in each exercise before getting started. However, the instructions are thorough, and the pictures do show certain nuances of each exercise. They were both helpful when I was checking my form.
Add these workouts to your exercise routine for a well-rounded running regimen all winter long.
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