If running’s your thing, let’s make sure you’re fit for it. The fitness world is full of ideas and systems that are supposed to be the next best thing when it comes getting you in shape. This can be a minefield in terms of identifying what is best for you.
My first bit of advice, would be to pick something that you enjoy, and by enjoy I don’t mean find easy. But if you get a lot from an hour on the cross-trainer and this keeps you going back to the gym and striving to be healthier, then keep doing that. I would suggest there are more effective things you could do but no one likes a fitness know-snob!
There is one other rule I try to follow in my own training and this is to try and replicate things that we can safely say human beings were doing thousands of years ago which kept them healthy. Lifting heavy objects would probably have been one of those things, perhaps going to collect water or dragging or carrying home an animal that had been hunted. This is why a gym is a great place to get healthier.
I also feel that people would have run a lot. Perhaps needing to get somewhere quickly, or indeed as part of a hunt. There weren’t any gyms, as far as we know, and other gadgets and gimmicks weren’t available either. This for me is why running is important in any fitness programme. But running, whilst awesome for cardiovascular health and also in my opinion, overall body strength, can easily injure you if you are not prepared, especially if you choose roads on which to do your running.
Here are 3 easy to perform exercises that should give you a more bullet proof body for running.
1) Single leg squat- Perform for 3 sets of 12 res (with body weight to start and then add dumbells in both hands)
This exercise will give you support around the knees, especially the vastus medialis which is thought to stop your knee from collapsing inwards when strong. This is especially important for women.
2) Single Leg Glute Ham Bridge on Bench- Perform 3 sets of 15 reps (with body weight to start and then you can hold a plate or power bag on the hips).
This exercises will help strengthen the hamstrings and glutes that will help keep your pelvis in a neutral position. This helps prevent the unwanted back ache you may get whilst or after running.
3) Prone Scorpions- Perform 3 x 30 to 60 seconds holds (weight of arms will suffice to start with then you can hold very light DB’s or a light household object)
Why do an upper body exercise when you run with your legs? Well, keeping your upper back healthy and having a good posture will further assist in protecting the lower back whilst running. Plus better posture makes you feel more confident, so why not?