Why is Strength Training so Important?

Strength and conditioning reduces overuse injuries by 50%.

According to the evidence “Strength training reduced sports injuries by less than a 1/3 and overuse injuries could almost be halved” (Lauersen et al, 2013).

The common areas of weakness we find are; gluteus medius (buttocks), transverse abdominus (core stability muscles), quadriceps (thigh), hamstrings (back upper leg) and gastrocnemius/soleus (calf muscles).

No excuses now!

A recent study has found that training for just 13 minutes, 3 times a week maybe enough to increase strength and endurance (Schoenfeld et al 2019)

Strengthening Exercises for Runners

We recommend doing two-three strength sessions per week and work the muscles to fatigue (until they are aching).

Which exercises you do will vary depending on whether you go to the gym or not.

To start with I will cover exercises you can do at home and then mention gym ones at the end.

Initially aim to repeat each exercise 25 times with good control and quality.

Once you can complete each exercise 25 times then add weight and reduce repetitions.

Aim to repeat:

1-3 sets of 8 to 12 reps Working to fatigue within those reps 2 minutes rest between sets. Repeat 3 sessions per week on non- consecutive days

It is important to add load during strength sessions as when running 4.5-7.6 x body weight goes through your knees.

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP or Physiotherapist before exercising if you have any aches or pains then please send us an email to activemotioninjuryclinic@gmail.com for advice and guidance.

Exercises to give a try:

1) Side Lying Leg Raises

  • Lying on your side with your back against a wall

  • Lift your top leg up, by sliding your heel up the wall

  • This should be slow and controlled, so lift your leg up for a count of 3 seconds and down for 3 seconds

  • Repeat until fatigue

  • Then turn over and repeat on the other side

2) Plank

  • Start on elbows and knees

  • Straighten your legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart.

  • Face the floor, being careful not to arch your back or stick your bottom in the air.

  • Hold this position for 45 seconds to begin with, extending the time as you get stronger.

  • You should feel this on your tummy muscles if you get lower back pain then stop

3) Lunge

  • Stand with your legs in a lunge position.

  • Go down and up keeping your weight evenly distributed through your legs.

  • Make sure you keep your knees in line with your second toes and your back up straight.

  • This should be slow and controlled, so down for a count of 3 seconds and up for 3 seconds

  • Repeat until fatigue

Gym Based Strengthening exercises for Runners

  1. Barbell back squat

  2. Machine leg press

  3. Single Leg machine leg extension

So if you do go to the gym it would be good to include these exercises in your strength programme too.

If you are a runner and have aches, pains or niggles or want advice about what you can do to reduce the risk of injury then please get in contact07368286175 or book online today.