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Strength Training Tips For Runners

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When training for a marathon, or starting any running program, logging miles isn't the only thing that will keep you in the race. NY1's Kafi Drexel filed the following report.

If you're a runner who is looking to boost performance while preventing injury, Marc Perry of builtlean.com has just the answer.

Perry's workout focuses on four key areas of training -- hip strength to increase stability and flexibility; core strength to improve your posture while running; upper body strength to help propel yourself forward; and balance to avoid running out of power when your feet hit the ground.

"I think there are a lot of common misconceptions about strength training when it comes to running. A lot of runners think they're going to get bulky, they are going to decrease their speed. In actuality it does this opposite," says Perry.

With moves like forward lunges onto a Bosu ball, Perry says you can increase foot stability with a combo of working on your balance. But to really improve hip flexibility, he suggests something called the "Bulgarian Split Squat," and yes, it's as hard as it sounds.

"You're going to start with one leg further out, your right leg further out, your left leg on the front of the bench. You're going to drop your hips down and get that nice stretch in your hip flexor, drop down and up," says Perry.

For arm strength, Perry suggests a chest press using resistance bands or pull-ups with feet extended toward the wall. He says building upper body strength can be especially important for the ladies.

"Women, their upper body strength relative to their legs is less than a man's upper body strength relative to his legs," explains Perry. "And so for running, it's critical to have that upper body strength to help propel yourself, and especially at the end of the race. A lot of people, a lot of women will have trouble really pumping their arms with their legs, and so it is really important to focus on the upper body for women in particular, and even for men as well."

Then there are the abs. For runners, Perry likes exercise ball rotations with a medicine ball.

"Running, a lot of people really don't appreciate that it's really rotational movements. You're really rotating your body to propel yourself forward. The exercise ball rotations really help work the rotation, work the obliques and your hips," says Perry.

For more of Perry's workout tips for runners, visit www.builtlean.com/running.

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