Strength and conditioning for runners -Beginner exercises

Sep 21, 2020

Strength and conditioning for runners -Beginner exercises

Sep 21, 2020

It has been well researched that the main muscles that are used during running are the planter flexors of the foot (your calf muscles) and the knee extensors Quads (anterior thigh) muscles.

There are different training effects from cardio and strength training that is why it is important for runners to work on both and pay particular attention to the muscles that the want to strengthen and why please read our previous blog on the physiology of strengthening vs cardiovascular training effects

Get strong on your footing

The calf muscles are responsible for 70% of the propulsion during running therefore it is important not to overlook these muscles when completing your strength and conditioning sessions.

There is a lot of attention paid to footwear and sports shops promoting shoe prescription based on your gait pattern– there is not much scientific evidence to support this and unfortunately we are playing less attention to the importance of strengthening the muscle around the foot which will ultimately be supporting the load going through the foot.

Injury prevention is complex but there is strong evidence to support the practice of strengthening in prevention of injury and less to support the practice of stretching pre workout.

Here are some useful strengthening exercises that every runner should be completing x1 per week.

1. Calf raises
2. Calf raises with knee bent
3. Knee extensions
4. Hamstring bridges

Once these exercises have been performed for a few weeks then it is a good idea to progress to more functional strengthening ideally at a gym.

This program should be completed x2 times per week. This is for beginners who have not completed any strengthening previously or in the recent past.

1. Calf Raises: 6 reps x 3 sets. Preform this exercise slowly

2. Calf raise with knee bent. Same as exercise 1 only with the knee bent- this will target lower calf muscles. 6 reps x 3 sets taking a break between sets. Should be preformed single legged.
3. Knee Extensions. This is to strengthen the anterior thigh muscle. (7 reps x 3 sets)
4. Hamstring Bridges. (10 second holds x 6 reps x 3 sets)

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