So I'm here in North Vancouver at Legacies Health Centre where I just finished a workout with my strength and conditioning coach Adam. I've
actually been working with Adam twice a week, one-on-one since coming back from an injury a few months ago. Back in December, I tore my hamstring. So I immediately got to work with the team here,
starting first working with a physiotherapist my friend Jackie before transitioning to
working with Adam on a strength program. And all of this hard work has allowed me
to come back for my injury stronger than ever and it's really renewed my commitment
to strength training. But you don't need a personal trainer or even access to a gym like
this to do strength training yourself, at least not at first. And there are some exercises that
you can do right at home if you're just getting started.
Audree's just starting her own workout
so why don't we go check in on what she's up to. Every good strength training program for
runners should be based around a handful of foundational movements: Squat,
hinge, push, pull, and core work. There are many variations possible for each of
these movements, but beginners should stick to exercises that rely primarily on body weight.
This will allow you to focus on your form while you begin to address any muscle imbalances
that you might have. Mastering these movement patterns first before adding an additional load
with things like dumbbells will decrease your risk of injury and will ultimately allow
you to lift more weight down the road. Once you are ready to hit the gym, it's a
good idea to start by working with a trained professional.
They'll do some assessments
of your movement patterns to help you begin to address any issues while making sure
you're not developing any bad habits. It's likely that they'll recommend what can be
referred to as accessory exercises like step ups or lunges with added weight that will help further
develop your stepping strength, something that's so important for trail runners. Adding an element
of instability by doing exercises on a single leg or on a ball can make them even more functional
for runners. But remember, strength is about stimulation not simulation. As runners we tend
to under develop certain muscles and over develop others, and this is where those main foundational
exercises play such an important role. If we really wanted to make everything completely
functional, we'd be better off just running more. But that's what creates these
imbalances in the first place. So let's take a look at some exercises that you
can do from home when you're just getting started.
Body weight squats are one of
the best exercises for beginners. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip
width apart and your feet facing forward. Look straight ahead and
keep your arms out in front. Slowly lower down as far as you can go, keeping
your chest out, shoulders back and abs tight. Your weight should be on your heels and your
knees shouldn't go forward past your toes. Glute bridges are great for improving hip
mobility and for strengthening your lower back. Lie on the floor with your knees bent
and your feet flat on the ground. Squeezing your glutes, lift your
hips until your hips and shoulders form a straight line.
Hold it there for a
couple of seconds before easing back down. Double the difficulty by doing these with one leg
stretched out, straight in the air. And by the way, for each of these exercises aim for three
sets of eight to ten reps or five reps per side for any of the single leg variations to
start. Another great exercise for your back are hip hinges which will more easily
allow you to progress to deadlifts in the gym with heavier weights down the road. Our
trainer Adam recommends these for this reason. Audree is demonstrating the single leg variation
which really helps to engage those stabilizing muscles. With your hands on your hips, send one
leg straight back to make a straight line from the top of your head to your heel. If this is too
difficult, focus on just the hinge while standing with both feet on the floor, hip to shoulder
width apart. Push-ups should be familiar to you. Start in a plank position with your arms extended.
Lower your body while keeping it in a straight line, with your elbows close to your sides until
your chest is almost touching the floor.
If you're having trouble with this, try keeping your knees
on the ground and your feet crossed in the air. To make them even easier, do them standing with your
hands on a raised platform like a kitchen counter. Rows are a great way to improve your posture and
prevent upper back and shoulder problems, but they're difficult to do without proper equipment.
One option that you can do at home is an incline row using a bed sheet over a doorway. Tie a knot
near the end of the bed sheet and place it over a door, closing it tightly, and be sure the door
opens in the opposite direction that you'll be pulling from.
Stand close to the door and grab
the edges of the sheet about chest high to start. Slowly lean back to straighten your arms
and bring your shoulders back and down then drive your elbows behind you. To make
these more difficult, hold the sheet further down at closer to hip height so that
your body drops lower to the ground. Last but not least, planks are a great way
to strengthen your core, and a strong stable core is essential for remaining injury-free and to
prepare you for other more challenging exercises. You can do them on your hands in a push-up
position, on your sides for more of a challenge, or on your forearm like Audree is demonstrating.
Place your arms shoulder-width apart and keep your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your heels
over your ankles. Be sure to engage your core by hugging your belly towards your spine so that it
doesn't drop down or stick up in the air.
Try to hold the position for up to 30 seconds and then
lower your body and rest which will be one set. So how often should you do these exercises? Well,
twice a week is likely optimal for a runner during training, and when I'm tapering for a race, I'll
usually drop this down to just once per week, while also lowering the number of reps that
I'm doing of each exercise. This is similar to how you would lower your overall running volume
during a taper while maintaining the same level of intensity. But you could choose to cut your
strength training out altogether during a taper. I just find that maintaining a certain level of
consistency allows me to more easily get back in the habit once I've recovered from a race.
like they say, what you do every day, or in this case every week, matters much more than what you
do once in a while. So I hope you found this video helpful and if you did, give it a like, and be
sure to subscribe for more videos like this..