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Strength Training Tips for Runners

Want to perform strength-based exercises to improve your running performance and reduce your risk of injury? Read our top tips below!

Recently we reviewed the physiological benefits of strength training for runners. But before you get into working out, here are some strength training tips that are a MUST KNOW in order to lift safely and effectively!

Top 7 tips on strength training for runners:

1) EARN the right to LIFT - As lifting heavy carries risks, it is important that you spend sufficient time to improve your technique and form before loading up. This can take months.

2) Build a strong FOUNDATION - ensure adequate joint range, muscle recruitment, motor control, balance and skill before loading.

3) FUNCTIONAL TRAINING - train the skills and functional movement you will use in running. Avoid isolation exercises apart from rehabilitation purposes. 4) More often than not, focus on SPLIT and SINGLE LEG stance exercises - in running, every time our leg lands it is in isolation, requiring single leg strength, balance and contralateral core strength. These traits can be enhanced through single leg and split stance strength exercises. 5) Increase LOAD gradually - don't get overzealous. Aim to increase load no more than 5-10% from one session to the next. 6) Complement with POWER exercises - this can transfer improvements in strength from slow controlled movement into the rapid demands of running. 7) LOW REP, high load focus - here’s why: 1) unlikely to result in hypertrophy (slows you down), 2) less likelihood of DOMS (get back to training quicker), 3) time efficient! 4) more so about activating neuromuscular system to highest capacity than damaging muscle. We recommend 4-5 sets of 3-5 reps (5-6RM), focusing on exercises such as squats, deadlifts, split squats, walking lunges, single leg deadlifts, side planks, adductor planks, and balance drills.

Want to safely build up a strength training program specific to you?

Our Exercise Physiologist would love to help! He is available in Chatswood and North Sydney. Click the button below and scroll down to our Runners Program!

Want to read more of our educational blog posts? Click here

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