After our squats and lunges post we realized that you all love cross training. This week we have another cross training post with runner and trainer Tina Reale.
Tina Reale is a NASM certified personal trainer and owner of the personal training site and blog Best Body Fitness. Tina offers affordable online personal training programs and virtual boot camps while also sharing workouts and fitness motivation through her blog. Tina recently completed her first marathon and looks forward to continuing her quest for a healthy, balanced life as she raises her two small children.
As a runner, you have likely “heard it once, heard it a thousand times”. Strength training is an important component of a runner’s weekly training. Runners should regularly incorporate strength training. Then comes the dilemma –I can only handle so many squats and lunges. Does strength training really make a difference? WHAT should I even do for strength training that will truly help my running?
I can attest that hitting the weight room does help running performance. In order to run harder or run stronger or simply help prevent injury, strength training can help by:
- Increasing lean muscle mass to power the body through challenging runs
- Correcting muscular imbalances or weaknesses that affect injury
- Strengthening bones by building up bone density
- Improving running form over endurance training as the core/glutes/hips/etc are stronger and fatigue less easily
- Providing a low-impact, yet challenging, cross training activity runners can enjoy
A wide variety of exercises exist that can greatly complement running, squats and lunges among them. However, what other exercises can a runner include in their cross training gym days? The three moves below will target weak areas for runners while training multiple body parts at once for a more effective workout. Incorporate one or all of them into your next workout!
Single Leg Deadlift – For Glutes/Core and Stabilization
Stand with feet shoulder width apart while holding a moderate weight dumbbell or kettle bell in front of you. Step one foot back with your toe lightly touching the ground. Keeping shoulders back, abs tight, and back flat, tip from the hips to lower the weight toward the ground. Either keep the rear foot on the ground with toes lightly touching or, for a stabilization challenge, let the rear leg lift upwards behind you as you lower. Make sure the back remains flat, abs tight, and hips squared during the movement. Slowly return to start. Complete 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps per leg.
Works: Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Abdominals
Push-Up & Row With Rotation – For the Entire Upper Body & Core
Holding light to moderate weight dumbbells, start in a prone plank position balancing on your hands and toes. Keep your abs drawn in and your body in a straight line from head to toe. Lower your body down into a push-up. As you return to the top of the push-up position, slowly draw one arm straight up towards your rib cage. From there, slowly rotate your torso away from the floor into a side plank as you continue to extend the arm above your head in a straight line. Slowly lower the dumbbell and return to start. Complete 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps per side.
Works: Shoulders, Chest, Back, Abdominals, Lower Back
Side Walking Squats with Resistance Tubing – For Glutes & Hips
Loop and tie a light to medium resistance band of resistance tubing around your ankles. Lower into a squat position. While holding the squat, take continuous steps while keeping tension on the band to one side. After completing a set of steps to one side, switch directions and return to start. Remain in the squat the entire time and try to keep constant tension on the band. Complete 2-3 sets of 20-50 total steps (make sure to do an even amount in each direction) per set.
Works: Gluteus Medius
Thanks Tina! If you’d like even more help from Tina you can join her next Best Body Bootcamp.
Tina’s next 8 week fitness program starts on July 23rd. It’s for all fitness levels and there are CASH PRIZES for reaching your fitness goals. Visit the Best Body Fitness site for all of the details.