Strength exercises to help you run faster
YES, STRENGTH-TRAINING HELPS runners add muscle. But to translate that gain into speed, you have to choose the right moves. “Runners should concentrate on building power—how fast you can use the force
you’ve built up,” says Jay Dicharry, director of the Speed Clinic
at the University of Virginia. “Explosive movements help you
activate your muscle power quickly during push-off.” Do these
exercises twice a week, preferably two days before or after a
speedwork session. —Debra Witt
See a video of this routine at runnersworld.com/power.
To find additional workouts, click the “Video” tab on our site.
enables leg and
core muscles to
“turn on” faster
during a run.
TO DO Face a
box, an aerobic
step, or a weight
bench. With feet
jump onto the
box, taking care
to land as softly
as you can. Step
back down. do
three sets of
Strengthens hips for better balance and stability during push-off.
TO DO Place the top of one foot onto a bench about three feet
behind you. lunge and rotate your torso 45 degrees to the right,
back to center, and then to the left. do two sets of eight reps.
STRAIGHT-LEG DEADLIFT develops propulsive force in the glutes and hip extensors, which will help your push-off as you increase your pace. TO DO Place heavy weights on the floor in front of you. hinging at the hips, with back straight, bend over and grab the weights. Keeping your core and glutes tight, straighten up. Slowly lower the weights to the floor. do two sets of eight reps.
KNEELING HIP-FLEXOR STRETCH
improves range of motion in the hips.
TO DO Step into a lunge and lower your back knee to the
ground. Keep your upper body straight while you tilt your pelvis
to feel a stretch. hold for one minute. do three times on each leg.