Are you finding that your runs just aren’t what they used to be? Perhaps you’re getting bored with your route, your shoes are worn out or your joints are starting to ache. Whatever the reason may be, sometimes all you need are a few strength training exercises to put a spring in your step and help you run faster and farther. Well, that and a TRUE Fitness treadmill like the M50 that will cushion your stride and monitor your progress – just for a little extra motivation.
Hamstring hip thrust
For this exercise, you’ll need an 5- to 10- pound weight and a sturdy box or bench. Begin by resting your upper back on the bench while your feet are flat on the floor and knees are bent. While holding a weight at waist level, raise your opposite leg off of the floor, lifting your hips as high as possible. Slowly lower back to your starting position, and repeat on the opposite side.
You can use the same box or bench for this move. Face the bench with your feet slightly apart and jump on top (land as softly as you can). After your successful jump, step back down and repeat. Try completing three sets, with five to 10 repetitions in each set.
Begin by standing on the edge of a stair, with your heels hanging off of the edge (hold onto the railing for support). Lower your heels until you can feel the stretch in your Achilles tendon, being careful not to push too hard. Next, rise up as high as possible on the balls of your feet. Do 10 repetitions. This exercise is great because it doubles as a stretch!
Half-squats with weights
This exercise is sure to help you feel stronger when you run. Grab those weights, then stand with your feet hip-width apart (with a weight in each hand). Do a half-squat so your thighs are at a 45 degree angle, hold for three counts, then stand up straight. This move will work your legs and your glutes!
Want to improve your balance and stability? This exercise will strengthen your hips. Begin by placing one foot on a bench three feet behind you. Lunge, then rotate your torso 45 degrees to the right, center, and left. Complete two or three sets of eight repetitions.