With strength exercises
Why is it Important?
Most people who run think that more running will help to strengthen the muscles needed in running, therefore neglect to carry out a separate strength-training programme. However strength training is important to help protect against injury and maintain good running form and efficiency. If you are prone to injury or you are currently ramping up the miles, then including strength training is essential if you want to get the most out of your running.
Important muscles for running;
There are 3 glute muscles (maximus, medius, minimus) all different sizes and they help to stabilise the pelvis in different positions, and help to control your knee postion. The glutes and hamstrings both work to extend the leg and propel us forwards.
A great exercise to help strengthen glute max is the shoulder bridge.
The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles at the back of the leg running from the pelvis to just past the knee. They work to extend the hip and bend the knee. Often if the glute muscles are weak this can lead to the hamstrings being over loaded and doing more work, which can lead to injuries such as hamstring tendinopathies.
Gastrocnemius / Soleus
There are two muscles that make up the calf muscle; Gastrocnemius and Soleus. These are important muscles as they help to propel us forward in running. As they are smaller muscles in the leg (compared to the others) they can tire more quickly, therefore need to be trained for endurance. These muscles can also become prone to overuse injuries such as achillies tendinopathy if training loads become too high without adequate adaptation.
Single leg heel raises are a great exercise to help strengthen the calf muscles for running.
If you want to know how you can improve your running by improving your strength and conditioning, book in for one of our Running MOTs. Where one of out Chartered Physiotherapist will carry out at an assessment to address the areas you can work on, and help you to reach your running goals.