Strength for Runners

As most of us probably know, strength training is an important part of training for runners to help lessen the risk of injury, as well as become stronger and faster. The stronger our muscles, the better they can handle the stressors of training for our races. Strength training doesn't need to be fancy - there are a lot of great body weight exercises and resistance bands are a cheap and easy way to add challenge.

Many muscle groups are working together with every stride you take, but the gluteus medius is one of the most important muscles when we are running, as it plays a large role in hip abduction (rotating hip away from center of body) as well as keeping the pelvis level. If this muscle is weak and/or tight (as is the case with many runners), other muscles and joints will take on more force than they should, which over time leads to injury. (For example, if the hip is not being abducted properly, the hip will rotate in, which causes the knee to also cave in.) Because running is essentially a bunch of single-leg movements, it's important to isolate the glute med. on each side through single-leg strength exercises. This ensures that one side does not overcompensate for the other (such as in a squat, when the stronger side usually does more of the work).

Here are a few of my favorites with videos and form notes. Aim to do them a few times a week and you'll notice a difference

Tammy is a NASM certified personal trainer and RRCA certified running coach. She is a fitness coach at Orangetheory Fitness and Equinox and owns a run coaching business, TW Training and Wellness. 

LORI ALLAN