We all aspire to meet our full potential, right? When it comes to running, you may think this means running, running, running as much as you can so you can get faster! But as most experienced runners know, there is much more to it than that. Lucky for us, Zack Moreschi, Performance Coach and Owner of More Fitness has put together a list of five exercises you need to build more muscle mass and improve your running. These moves are simple, but efficient! By utilizing them correctly, you can see those results without impeding on your time training.
When exercising, runners should concentrate on building power. The stronger your muscles are, the less they have to work to stride giving you greater endurance. Less work means your legs can go farther, for longer distances, and they can go faster! This is where plyometrics comes in. Plyometrics means “more” and “measure” which equals “more power." Using plyometrics will boost strength and speed by improving the elasticity of the muscle. By lengthening your muscles they will stretch and contract rapidly resulting in more power. Training with explosive movements means you’re activating muscle fibers more efficiently and effectively, meaning stronger and longer power. Explosive movements like those used in plyometrics help you activate your muscle power quickly during push off. Gains in upper-body strength will also improve muscle efficiency when running. Both arms and the upper-body are engaged when running so training the upper body results in a more balanced, efficient effort. Greater strength does equal greater endurance. More muscle equals more strength. Not to mention, when muscles don’t need to work as hard they don’t need as much oxygen. This puts less demand on your heart and again, you can go faster for a longer period of time.
- Plank- Prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart. Make sure your body is aligned, your abdominal muscles are tight, and shoulders are directly above the elbows and down and back, not hunched up. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute. Gradually add time as your core gets stronger.
- Deadlift- Stand with dumbbells. Hinge forward at your hips, keeping your back flat, to lower the dumbbells just below your knees. Rise up slowly to stand straight. Pause, then lower back down and repeat six to 12 times.
- Squat Jumps- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend into squat-position with your hips back and knees bent. Tap the floor with your hands and jump up reaching your hands straight over your head. Bend your knees as you land, touch the ground again, and repeat for allotted amount of time.
- Push-ups- Laying with face, palms and toes facing down, keeping legs and back straight, extending arms straight to push body up and back down again.
- Lunges- Stand upright. Step forward with one foot. The toes of both feet should be facing straight ahead. Be sure your legs are aligned - your front knee should be aligned with the foot. Lower your back knee towards the floor. Push back up to the starting position.
Do you already cross train using any of these exercises? How have they worked out for you? Tell us in the comments below!