Strength Training for Trail Runners – Home Workout for Beginners

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.

Because 
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..

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