Try implementing strength training into your workout routine to boost performance and round out your fitness.

It’s been taught for a long time that cross training improves performance, but runners often find themselves lacing up their running shoes and hitting the road day after day. Some may even feel guilty cross training during event training season, but that shouldn’t be the case.

While cross training of all kinds can be beneficial, strength training is one of the best ways to take your running to the next level. Some key areas to focus on are:

1. Core Endurance [2] Your core is the powerhouse of your body. Without proper training, this key muscle group will fatigue during your long runs, resulting in poor posture and incorrect form. Core endurance will help keep you running tall and ensure the rest of your body stays in proper alignment.

2. Glute/Hamstring Strength [1,3] If you want to climb hills like a champion, then you need a strong posterior chain. Not only do your glutes and hamstrings work in conjunction with your quads, but they act as your brakes. Improper glute/hamstring to quad strength ratios can be dangerous, and put your knees at risk for injury.

3. Shoulder Mobility [1] Your legs follow what your arms do. Maintaining a proper range of motion is imperative for fluid running dynamics. Working your upper body through all joint angles can help keep you strong and well-balanced.

So, here is a workout to help you work on some of those key areas.

WORKOUT

Warm Up-5 minutes of your choice
Round 1:
Perform 30 seconds each (alternating)
Repeat 3 times

Hip raises (feet elevated on a step or chair)
Deadlifts (heavy kettlebell, barbell, or dumbbells)
———————————
45 seconds high knees

Round 2:
Perform 30 seconds each (alternating)
Repeat 3 times

Triceps dips
Forearm plank with hip rotation
———————————
45 seconds butt kickers

Set 3:
Perform 30 seconds each (alternating)
Repeat 3 times

Plié squats
Deadlifts (heavy kettlebell, barbell, or dumbbells)
———————————
45 seconds high knees

Set 4:
Perform 30 seconds each (alternating)
Repeat 3 times

In and outs
Push-ups
———————————
45 seconds butt kickers

Set 5:
Perform 30 seconds each (alternating)
Repeat 3 times

Superman extensions
Reverse lunges
———————————
Forearm plank (until failure)

Cool Down
To avoid overtraining, try this workout on your off days or pair on the same day as an easy run.

Becca Capell
iFit Head Trainer

WARNING: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFit assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


References
1. Delecluse, C. Influence of strength training on sprint running performance. Sports Medicine. 24(3): 147-156. 1997.
2. Sato, K and Mokha, M. Does core strength training influence running kinetics, lower-extremity stability, and 5000-m performance in runners? J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 133-140, 2009
3. Snyder, Kelli R. et al. Resistance training is accompanied by increases in hip strength and changes in lower extremity biomechanics during running. Clinical Biomechanics , Volume 24 , Issue 1 , 26 – 34.