17 Fitness Misconceptions Busted

13. You CAN Teach Speed

A lot of people who are already in good shape think that because they've never been fast that they'll never be fast.

One of the easiest ways to get faster is to get stronger so you can create more force with your muscles and put more force into the ground with each step. You can also clean up your technique.

More: How to Run Faster With Less Work

14. In Order to Run, you Need to be in Running Shape

If you're overweight or out of shape and you try to run yourself into running shape, you may get injured. In order to endure the pounding of running, you've got to be in running shape.

15. Stretching Does Not Decrease the Risk of Injury

Contrary to what this popular fitness myth would have you believe, you should not static stretch before exercise—you don't want to put your muscles to sleep. You want to excite them and get them fired up with active motion. Save the stretching to help with post-workout recovery.

More: Before You Run: The Dynamic Warm-Up

16. Free Weights Are a lot Better Than Machines

Free weights give you a better range of motion. Strength training is more functional if it helps you perform better in your daily life. The body is not made to work on an isolated plane of movement.

17. Upper Body Strength Training IS Important for Distance Running

Running hills requires a great amount of upper body strength. You need to use your arms to pump.

More: 4 Exercises to Sculpt Your Upper Body

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