“Run more, run faster” seems to be the mantra of many ambitious runners. And while it is true that the majority of your training should consist of running, the benefits of resistance training with your own body weight are often underestimated. The following five facts explain how strength training for runners can improve your running performance.
1. You run more efficiently
A stable torso is crucial for efficient running form. In particular, your abs and back muscles (core) play a major role. If these are too weak, your body will be forced to make compensations. A steady upper body guarantees a smooth transfer of the force generated from your arms to your legs. Efficient running form helps you run faster and expend less energy.
2. Your steps are more effective
Unnecessary compensations due to muscle imbalances and unstable joints lead to a loss of power. This decreases the effectiveness of your push off and thus your steps. A strong core and powerful leg muscles ensure an efficient transfer of force directly into the ground.
3. You become more flexible
Bodyweight training exercises are usually complex and strengthen more than just your muscles. If done properly, they also strengthen your mobility and agility. In general, flexibility is always a combination of strengthening, mobilization and stretching.
4. You reduce stress on your spine
Back pain is a common problem among runners. The main reason is weak abs and back muscles. Every time you run, your spine is subjected to small impacts. These cause your intervertebral discs to lose fluid and shrink, thus reducing their ability to absorb the shock from running. When we sleep, this fluid is replenished and the discs return to their original size.
The stronger your core is, the longer your spine can benefit from its stabilizing effect.
5. You lower your risk of injury
Many runners’ problems (runner’s knee, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, etc.) are the result of muscle imbalances. These are often caused by focusing on only one activity or improper technique. To compensate for these imbalances, you should make strengthening and stabilization exercises a regular part of your running training. These can help improve your form and thus lower the risk of injury. Injury and setback are not fun – that’s why strength exercises for runners are so critical!
So, have we convinced you of the benefits of bodyweight training for runners? Weight training for runners is not necessary – you really can get all the benefits by using your own body weight! You can find a wide range of effective bodyweight exercises in the Runtastic Results app. You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership to do these workouts. Give them a try and take your running performance to the next level.