If running is your go-to cardio, strength training should be part your workout routine, especially if you're training for a race.
If running is your go-to cardio, strength training should be part your workout routine, especially if you're training for a race. Working with weights, or simply doing body weight exercises, will help make you stronger, which can improve your running, making you faster and more efficient. That extra bit of muscle can help prevent overuse injuries. To balance out a runner's overworked legs, Equinox trainer Lauren Fairbanks recommends that runners strengthen four often neglected areas: the glute max, the glute med, the core, and the upper back.
The glute max is the biggest of all the butt muscles, hence the inclusion of max in its name. The glute max helps power your run, especially uphill.
- Step-ups: This exercise is great for building power in your backside. It trains your glutes for climbing inclines.
- Weighted walking lunges: Walking lunges feel a little like running in slow motion. This exercise mimics the action of running with the glute max engaging to push your pelvis forward. Adding dumbbells to this exercise makes the glutes work just a little bit more, and that's a good thing.
The glute meds, found on either side of the pelvis, help keep you stable while running. This stability helps keep the knees, hips, and lower back in proper alignment as you pound out the miles.
- Lateral band walks: This simple and effective move should be done until you feel the glute meds burn. Be sure to step to the side with the heel making contact before the toe to fire up the butt muscles.
- Side lunge curtsy lunge combo: Lunges are great for working the legs, but this particular combination targets the glute med over the the glute max. By working laterally, these two lunges make the legs work through a large range of motion, strengthening the glute med from a variety of angles.
See more exercises when you read more.