11 Aug The Ultimate Strength Workout for Runners
With different recommendations in every magazine and website, what is the best way to build strength? Many ultra-runners increase the number of miles they run per week in order to improve upon their running. But simply running more miles alone can lead to injury.
InstaPhysique offers a low impact, cross training approach and is an excellent way to add strength training to any runner’s routine. The challenging Lagree Fitness workout is 40 minutes of core crunching, gluteal and hamstring burning resistance exercise, all done efficiently on the patented ‘Megaformer’. This workout is especially beneficial to runners as it builds strength without creating excess bulk.
Performing the same movement over and over when you run leads to the over development of certain muscle groups. A runner endures constant impact while running and their quadriceps become more developed than the hamstrings and the low back becomes stronger than the core. The force of each step travels up from the legs to the lower back and thorax. The core strength that you acquire through Lagree Fitness not only makes those areas better able to deal with the impact, it also improves body alignment and balance. This will help the runner distribute the force of running throughout the body more efficiently, instead of forcing the task onto only a few muscles. Core strength training leads to improved posture, which facilitates easier breathing through increased thoracic expansion. Our workout focuses on engaging and strengthening core muscles, thus promoting strength and endurance in the abdominal and pelvic muscles.
Lagree Fitness, by design, works to promote balance throughout the body. Runners will often develop unilateral weaknesses which can result in injury. Lagree training improves running form by developing strength in the smaller supporting muscles in all planes, not just muscles used for forward propulsion. We accomplish this by lengthening, strengthening, and leaning out the body. That equates to more flexibility and strength without bulk. By developing the stabilizing muscles and building a stronger running support system throughout the body, you will protect the knees, hips, and low back, reducing your chance of injury and improve power during intense running effort. Weak abdominal and gluteus muscles lead to breaks in form. Retraining and strengthening the muscles of the core to work synergistically, will improve running efficiency and speed recovery.
The Lagree workout varies with each class so you never get over trained in one area, making sure you get training to essentially every muscle group. While this workout does raise your heart rate, you will not be breathless. Your muscles will be completely spent, as you work your muscles to absolute exhaustion. Runners will find this type of training extremely challenging, despite their ultra endurance, as the muscles worked during our classes will likely be weak when you first start. By varying your body position on the machine you can adjust difficulty on the fly. You might think this will eventually get easy and you can master it. While you certainly will get stronger, it NEVER gets easy. As you improve, the instructors add more springs making it forever challenging. The amazing thing is how hard you can push your body without getting injured.
Excerpted from –Dr. Mark Greenberg MD – Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics University of California, San Diego