Welcome to the latest edition of workout Wednesday. I don't know about you, but I love working out outside. Whether it is running on the streets or an outdoor bootcamp, I just prefer it over the gym (even though I have a great gym at home called the Shredshed).
I know the weather doesn't always cooperate this time of year, but if we are having a nice day or even if it is cold, I'll move it outdoors for a welcome change. Working out in the dark or cold helps build mental strength, endurance and resilience. Build a tough mind while you are building that tough body. Just be sure to stay safe and bundle up!
This week I am sharing a no-equipment strength workout that can be done indoors or out that is great for building strength for runners. This is a sample of the types of workouts you will see in my Strength Camp for Runners sessions starting in January 2017.
Warm up before you begin the workout. Perform the exercises in circuit style, do not rest in between the exercises. Once you finish the circuit, rest for one minute (or as long as needed) and repeat two more times.
SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT
Standing on one leg, keep your knee slightly bent and perform a deadlift by bending at your hip while keeping your back straight and neck neutral. Extend your free leg behind you in line with your body. Lower until your back is parallel to the floor. With your back straight return to the upright position. Perform 12 reps and repeat on other leg.
Runners benefit from unilateral (one leg at a time) leg strength work. As your balance improves, add a weight to progress the exercise.
Start in a high plank position with your hands placed a little wider than your shoulders. Keeping your body in a straight line, while engaging your core slowly lower your chest to the floor by ending your elbows. Once in the low position, push back up to the starting position. If this is too challenging, drop to your knees. Perform 12 reps.
The pushup is great for runners because it is an exercise that works your entire core in addition to the chest and shoulders using just your own body weight.
LUNGE WITH TWIST
With your feet hip width apart and your toes pointed straight ahead, hold your core stable with your back straight and take one large step with your right leg to lunge forward until your front knee is lined up over your ankle, your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your back knee is nearly touching the floor. Twist your torso in the direction of your forward leg. Push up to standing and repeat on other leg. Perform 12 reps on each leg.
The lunge with twist is another great unilateral exercise. When we run, we only move forward so we need lateral and twisting moves to stay strong and balanced in all planes of motion.
Position your hands shoulder width apart behind you on a bench or ledge. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle while keeping your back close to the bench. From the low position, straighten your elbows to return to the starting position. Keep your shoulders down and your elbows close to your body as you lower and raise your body. If this is too challenging you can bend your legs to modify the exercise. Perform 12 reps.
Upper body strength is important for runners too. Our legs may be doing most of the work but our arms power our stride. Don't neglect the upper body
Starting with your feet hip width apart push your hips back and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor (like you are sitting back in a chair) or as low as your flexibility will allow. In the low position, engage your core, squeeze your glutes and push up to standing. Perform 12 reps.
Running builds muscular endurance, but not necessarily muscular strength. Squats help us build the strength we need to run faster on the flats and get us up those steep hills.
Stand with your feet hip width apart, squat down by bending your knees until your hands are flat on the floor next to your feet. Jump your legs backwards into a high plank position. Jump both feet forward so you back in the starting position.. Jump up and raise both hands over your head. If this is too challenging, step back and forward from plank position instead of jumping. Perform 8 reps then rest for one minute (or as long as needed) before repeating the circuit.
Burpees are everyone's favorite exercise to hate. Progress this exercise by increasing the reps when you're ready! Burpees are extremely effective for conditioning and endurance.
Give it a try outdoors or indoors and let me know how it goes!
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I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help.
While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.