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The Total Body Workout That Will Make you a Better Runner

By September 5, 2018workout

The Total Body Workout That Will Make You A Better Runner

Most people think that running just requires…well…running. While that’s technically true, if you want to be a better, stronger, faster runner, you have to do more than simply log miles!

As a former competitive distance runner, I know this to be true.  Your best, most productive body will come from a beautiful recipe of total body strength training, plyometrics, and other forms of cardio.

Recent studies have shown that several types of strength training can be beneficial for runners. One recent meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine found that the addition of two to three heavy resistance training, explosive resistance training, or plyometric (short, fast exercises where your muscles use maximum force to increase power) training sessions per week could improve the performance of middle and long-distance runners. (The researchers, however, did acknowledge that while in general, strength training is probably helpful, some of the evidence is mixed).

Another meta-analysis published in the same journal looked at how strength training impacts running economy, or how much oxygen you use while you run. This group of researchers also discovered that heavy weight training and explosive training can have a positive impact. That’s because strength training improves your maximal strength, or the highest amount of force your body can generate, and explosive training helps decrease the amount of energy you use while running. So by incorporating workouts that build up your body’s strength and stamina in addition to workouts that teach your body how to be economical with its energy, you truly are maximizing your potential for performance.

This may sound like a lot of scientific, runners lingo mumbo jumbo. But just trust me on this stuff. Not only have I spent more than half my life training as a competitive distance runner, I’ve coached countless people, runners and non-runners alike, who all share the common goal of wanting to be more fit, toned and lose those extra unwanted pounds. If that is the goal, pounding the pavement with endless miles isn’t always the best answer.

Get into the shape of your life with a workout like this one. If you do this 3-4 times a week, you will watch your body and fitness level transform (not to mention your mile times for all you runners out there)!

EQUIPMENT + OVERVIEW
EQUIPMENT //

 

+ Valeo yoga mat or other soft surface
+ Resistance band or light to medium set of dumbbells 
WORKOUT STRUCTURE //
Do these 8 workouts for 50 seconds each. Complete 2 circuits if you’re feeling up to it!

WORKOUT DETAILS

Duration    6 – 10 mins  |  Type  Toning, Strengthening, Activation
TOTAL BODY STEP-BY-STEP   //
  • One Leg Mountain Climbers
  • Hold Weight Crunch Ups
  • Power Knee Ups
  • Forearm Reptiles
  • Resistance Band Thigh Outs
  • Burpees
  • Front Arm Raises
  • Boat Pose Leg Dividers

BREAKDOWN //

1 // One Leg Mountain Climbers

Step 1 //

Begin in downward dog position.

Step 2 //

Raise your left leg two to three feet off the ground behind you, balancing on your right foot.

Step 3 // 

Begin jumping your right foot forwards, underneath your hips, and backwards, back to starting position. Keep your arms extended, your hands positioned beneath your shoulders, and your left leg raised in the air. Repeat for 50 seconds.

2 // Hold Weight Crunch Ups

Step 1 //

Lie down on your back and bend your knees so your feet are positioned flat on the floor.

Step 2 //

Grab a weight if you have one and raise it with both hands above your chest. Keep your arms extended in this position for the remainder of the workout.

Step 3 // 

Then start crunching those abs. Keep your shoulders off the ground, relax your neck and really focus on engaging your core. Repeat for 50 seconds.

3 // Power Knee Ups

Step 1 //

Start standing with your left leg extended behind you on a diagonal.

Step 2 //

Raise your arms up towards the ceiling, slightly out in front of you on a diagonal.  

Step 3 //

Begin the exercise by pulling your left knee up towards your chest. At the same time, bring your arms down around your knee and towards your hips. Make these motions simultaneous and strong, engaging your arm muscles, core and thigh.

Step 4 //

Return your leg and arms to starting position and repeat these motions over and over for 25 seconds. Then repeat the exercise on your right side, once again for 25 seconds.

4 // Forearm Reptiles

Step 1 //

Begin in a forearm plank position.

Step 2 //

Begin the exercise by bending your leg, bringing your right knee up towards the back of your right arm. Then return your leg to starting position.

Step 3 //

Next, bend your left leg, bringing your left knee towards the back of your left arm. Return to starting position. Repeat these movements, alternating legs, for 50 seconds.

5 // Resistance Band Thigh Outs

Step 1 //

Lie down on your back and extend your legs out in front of you.

Step 2 //

Place a resistance band beneath your feet and pull the handles up towards your chest.

Step 3 //

Begin the exercise by moving your right leg a foot or so to the right, then bring it right back in to starting position. Repeat this motion for 25 seconds.

Step 4 //

Complete the same motion using your left leg for another 25 seconds.

6 // Burpees

Step 1 //

Start standing with your feet together.

Step 2 //

Complete a classic cardio burpee: bring your hands to the floor and jump your legs out behind your body. Then, jump your feet forward, back towards your hands, and stand up. Finish the burpee by jumping straight up vertically with your hands reaching to the sky. Repeat this exercise for 50 seconds.

7 // Front Arm Raises

Step 1 //

Start standing with your feet together. Grab a set of weights, hold one in each hand, and let your arms rest on your thighs.

Step 2 //

Begin the exercise by raising both arms up to a horizontal position, parallel with the floor. Repeat for 50 seconds.

8 // Boat Pose Leg Dividers

Step 1 //

Sit down on the ground and lean back onto your tailbone, placing your hands on the ground behind you so that your arms support your weight.

Step 2 //

Lift your legs up off the ground, together, with your toes pointing towards the ceiling on a diagonal.

Step 3 //

Begin the exercise by separating your legs, bringing them about two to three feet apart in opposite directions.

Step 4 //

Bring your legs back together to return to starting position. Repeat this movement over and over for 50 seconds.

When you’re finished, send it this workout to someone you think could use it. And while you’re at it, share these running workout secrets with your fitness friends and start transforming yourselves together.

Raising the Standard on what it means to be FIT!

Amanda

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