You've heard it 1,000,000 times.......Strength training is a crucial part of any runner's training program.
However, while runners generally love running, strength training may take a back seat in the hierarchy of their training. However, strength training is even more crucial for female athletes. Take it from us, don't sleep on all the benefits! Need more of a push to pump it up? Check out the knowledge drop below.
Strength training is essential for female runners for several reasons:
Injury Prevention - Strength training can help improve muscular balance, reduce muscle imbalances, and strengthen weaker areas of the body, reducing the risk of injury.
Improved running performance: Building strength can help female runners improve their running form, speed, and endurance.
Increased bone density: Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, and strength training has been shown to increase bone density, reducing the risk of bone fractures.
Hormonal benefits: Strength training can help increase levels of growth hormone and testosterone, which can help female runners build muscle mass, improve recovery, and boost energy levels.
Here are some tips for incorporating strength training into your running routine:
Focus on exercises that target the muscles used in running: Running primarily uses the lower body muscles, so exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and calf raises are great choices. However, don't neglect the upper body muscles, which can help with posture and breathing. Push-ups, pull-ups, and rows are effective upper-body exercises.
Use weights or resistance bands: Incorporating weights or resistance bands can help build strength and power. Start with a weight or resistance level that feels challenging but manageable, and gradually increase the weight or resistance over time.
Choose functional movements: Functional movements mimic the actions of running and can improve running form and efficiency. Exercises like single-leg squats, step-ups, and walking lunges are great choices.
Incorporate plyometrics: Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and jumping lunges, can help improve power and speed.
Don't neglect core strength: A strong core can improve posture and stability, which can lead to improved running form and reduced risk of injury. Planks, Russian twists, and bird dogs are effective core exercises.
Be consistent: Incorporate strength training into your routine at least twice a week, and make sure to vary your exercises to keep your muscles challenged.
Remember, strength training is just one part of a well-rounded running program. Make sure also to include rest days, stretching, and proper nutrition to support your running goals.
Need help getting it kickstarted? Learn about the Foxy, Feisty, and Fierce 30-day strength-focused virtual boot camp you can do from ANYWHERE!