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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Best Exercises for Runners

 There are endless options out there if you are interested in finding exercises. Some of my favorite places to scope out new ones are:

As I said in the post Beginner Runners Part 3 -- Putting on Mileage, it is important for runners to have strong leg, ab and back muscles to avoid injury. Here are some of my favorites. 
I like to do 12-15 repetitions of each exercise.

  • Weighted squat -- hold a weight in each hand and start squating! Keep that back straight, abs engaged, and don't let your knees pass your toes.
  • Pulsing squat -- do the movement for 1 minute, during the last 40 seconds pulse up and down.
  • Jump squat -- squat down and then explode up opening your arms and legs out to form a star with your body. Immediately squat back down and repeat.
  • Pick up squat -- place a weight in front of you. Squat down, pick up the weight and straighten. Then squat down, place the weight back on the floor and straighten. Repeat.
  • Fitness ball squat -- hold a fitness ball over your head and squat.
  • Sumo squat -- place your legs wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed out. Do a normal squat.

  • Weighted lunge -- hold a weight in each hand and lunge alternating legs. Be sure to not let your knee pass your toes.
  • Curtsy lunge -- stagger feet with left foot in front of right, legs straight. Hold a weight in each hand by your sides. Bend both knees while lifting arms to shoulder height. Repeat and then switch legs.

Other honorable mentions 
  •  Leg curl on fitness ball -- lie faceup on a mat with ankles resting on a fitness ball. Lift left leg straight up and with right leg bring fitness ball towards you. Repeat then switch legs.
  • Booty squeeze -- Lie faceup with legs extended, a towel under each heel, and arms out to sides so that hands are in line with hips, palms down. Contract abs, squeeze glutes, and slowly lift hips and legs a few inches off floor while pressing heels into towels. Slide feet out to sides as wide as possible, then slide them together again without lowering hips. Slide feet toward butt, bending knees 90 degress to form a bridge. Slide feet forward again to complete 1 rep. 
  • Obliques peak -- Get in pushup position with a towel under feet. Keeping legs together, bend elbows slightly and slide feet forward out to side, bringing bent knees to outside of right elbow. Slide feet back to start. Switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep.
  • Deadlift -- Hold weights with plams facing thighs, knees slightly bent and back straight. Bend forward from hips. Stand up, pushing through hips.

I am always switching up ab exercises. The most important thing is to do exercises that target every muscle group in the abdomen. Check out my Marathon Training: New weights routine post for some ideas for ab and back exercises. 

Or this slideshow for even more ab exercises I love.

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