How can lifting weights improve your run?

Max Boettner is a licensed athletic trainer for the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute.

Max Boettner is a licensed athletic trainer for the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute.

Weightlifting, as an adjunct to running, is very important to maximize the efficiency with which you run.

Having total body strength and fitness allows you to maintain proper running posture and leg drive for longer periods of time.  Some people stay away from lifting weights because they don’t want to bulk up and lose some of their flexibility, but this will not be the case if you follow a routine designed for runners.

In order to maximize the effect of your weight training as well as to avoid injury, it is very important to work all of the muscles around a joint or area equally to avoid imbalances.  That is, work on hamstring and glutes as much as you work on quad strength and work on back as much as chest and abs.  With core exercises, be sure to do rotational exercises as well as flexion/extension exercises

The best way to come up with a program that you will stick to is to make it convenient, efficient, and fun for you to do. While strength training has shown to be beneficial even if done as little as twice a week for 20-25 minutes, I would recommend trying to do it 3 times a week for 20-30 min.  To make it as fun as possible, do some research on different exercises and programs and come up with 6-10 different exercises that you enjoy!

While strength training is not something I particularly enjoy, I try to do it 3 times a week on days where I run a shorter distance.  I do the typical lifts for my legs like squats, lunges with kettle bells, and stiff legged dead lifts.  I also spend time working on my back with seated rows, lat pull downs, and different back extension exercises. I do core exercise about 5 times a week, not only on days that I lift.

Don’t give up the sport — give up the pain! Visit the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute at 13 Wisconsin locations, visit our website, follow us on Facebook, browse our YouTube channel, or call our hotline at 1-800-219-7776.


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