4 Strength Exercises for Time-Strapped Runners
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The squat is the most important exercise runners can do. Squats build power and strength. A correctly executed full-range squat, where the hip crease goes below the kneecap, is not only safe for the knees, but it will also help make them more stable. When the hip crease is below the knee, your glutes, adductors and hamstrings are all engaged. A partial squat (hip crease does not go below the kneecap) will only activate the quadriceps.
Good Form Tip 2 of 8
Try to spread the floor apart with your feet as you are squatting. This will keep your knees from rolling inward. Push your butt back and down, maintain a rigid spine, and keep your chest up.
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When performed correctly, this exercise will recruit all of the muscles of the posterior chain. Single-leg deadlifts (SLDL) increases foot and knee stability, and build better balance and proprioception (body awareness). If you find yourself falling over, it's because your ankle stabilizers are not firing to help you keep your balance. SLDL can take practice to perfect, but it is worth it. Good Form Tip: Keep your back rigid and your eyes on the horizon, about 6 to 10 feet in front of you.
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A great full body exercise, push-ups can help increase endurance through consistent practice. Push-ups work the chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, forearms, abs, and even engage the legs. If you do not have the strength to do a push-up, start with your knees on the floor.
Good Form Tip 5 of 8
Contract your abs—this will keep your spine rigid, chin in a neutral position, and will allow your chest to brush the floor.
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Put your body in a push-up position with your hands around a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. The goal is to keep the spine rigid with little to no movement of the pelvis as you are rowing up the weight. Renegade rows will increase shoulder stability, core strength and endurance.
Good Form Tip 7 of 8
Contract your abs, keep your chin in a neutral position, and ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart.