Mark Allen's 12 Best Strength Exercises

2. Leg Extensions (upper legs/quads; supports weight-catching phase of running and builds additional muscle mass necessary for half-marathon distances and up)

  • Beginning position: Sit on machine. Rest shin pad just above ankle. Line knee with pivot point of machine
  • Ending position: Extend both legs fully to straight line

3. Leg Curls (upper leg/hamstring; boosts pull-through for both cycling and running)

  • Beginning position: Lay face down on machine bench. Place leg pad just above ankles. Keep legs slightly bent
  • Ending position: Contract hamstrings fully. Keep stomach on pad at all times

4. Bench Press (chest; improves pull phase in swim)

  • Beginning position: Lay face up on bench, hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Bar in line above mid-chest
  • Ending position: Lower bar to one inch above mid-chest. Keep lower back on bench at all times

More: 12 Tips for a Better Bench Press

5. Squats (glutes and quads; generates power for cycling and strength necessary for hilly running)

  • Beginning position: Stand with legs wider than shoulders. Find neutral spine posture. Keep weight over heels at all times
  • Ending position: Lower butt toward floor as though you're sitting in a chair. Bend knees until thighs are parallel to floor

More: How to Master the Squat

6. Lateral Dumbbell Raise (shoulder joint; supports healthy shoulders to prevent swimming injuries)

  • Beginning position: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, elbows even with the plane of your body and slightly extended away from your torso
  • Ending position: Extend arms out sideways, keeping elbows still in the plane of your body. Stop arms parallel to ground

7. Calf Raises (lower legs/calves; helps push-off for running)

  • Beginning position: Place one foot on a step and the other raised off the step just slightly. Hold the weight in the arm on the same side as the calf you are working
  • Ending position: Lower the heel until you feel a moderate stretch

More: How to Prevent an Achilles Injury

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