Runners are incredible at finding the best gadgets to run with, trails to visit, routes to add in miles and leg exercises to keep them strong.
However, falling in love with and diligently focusing on running can keep some runners from noticing weak spots early on in their training. Every body is made differently from short to tall runners, squat and lean runners and everyone in between. Each runner is susceptible to points of muscular weakness.
Incorporate the following exercises to help strengthen weak points in your body when it comes to running mechanics. All exercises are done using body weight and sometimes a 32-ounce filled water bottle for weight. They can be done anywhere. Try to complete 10-15 reps of each exercise working left and right sides, 2-3 sets, 2-3 times a week.
1. Single Leg Deadlifts
Stand tall with perfect posture with bum tucked, balancing on your right leg. Gradually lean forward, engaging your core, keeping hips like headlights facing ahead as you lean forwards. Form a “T” balanced on the right leg with arms extended in front and chest facing the ground with your left leg extended behind. Return to standing position. Repeat on opposite side.
2. Lunge with Alternating Reverse Fly
Hold water bottle in one hand. Start in a lunge position with left leg forward, remembering to keep your knee directly over your ankle to form a 90-degree angle. Keep your right-leg extended behind you. Lower your upper body down toward your left leg while keeping chest raised with shoulders rolled back and core engaged. Bring both hands together under your left leg and pass the water bottle from left hand to right beneath leg, then raise and extend both arms to reverse fly. Repeat, rotating to right leg in front after 15 reps.
Start in plank position; shoulders rolled back positioned with wrists a bit wider under them, core engaged. Bend your right knee and bring it toward your right elbow. Engage obliques. Return to starting position and repeat on your left side. Repeat.
4. Plank- Push-Pull
Begin in a plank position, shoulders back and with wrists positioned a bit wider under them, core engaged. Do a push up with the goal being to have your chest touch the ground. Rise from push up, and push your hands into ground, pulling your body back into a downward dog position. Hold for 5 seconds. Return to plank position and repeat.
Erin Kreitz Shirey owns Power Fitness PDX, is a nationally awarded personal trainer and fitness coach, health & fitness editor for Manilla.com and creator of the 21Day Challenge App. She holds a BS in Kinesiology, ACE, TRX, Stott Pilates Mat, Sports Nutrition and Fit to Deliver certified. When not teaching boot camps, presenting or training for triathlons you can find Erin biking with her family, while periodically stopping to make her kids laugh by doing the running man. Twitter @powerfitness, Facebook @DigDeepPlayHard and digdeepplayhard.com.