Targeted strength and active mobility training is vital to preventing injury, overcoming frustrating niggles and enabling you to run faster.
“Often running injuries occur due to a lack of strength, in line with overuse,” says Harvey Lawton, founder of The Movement Blueprint.
“Insufficient strength will see the body create shortcuts to enable it to function, commonly leading to pain and injury.
“When training for running, therefore, it’s important to strengthen movement patterns that are highly transferable to running. This will help injury-proof the body, as well build power and efficiency.”
The following workout – taken from The Movement Blueprint’s Running Foundations programme – is aimed at improving mobility, stability and strength.
1a. Bird Dog (right and left)
Rest: Straight to 1b
- From a tabletop position, maintain tension in your core and reach out with one arm and the opposite leg.
- Stability and strength through your core is key to aiding running efficiency.
- Add a 3-5 sec pause on each rep and find value in each top position.
1b. Split Squat Hold Palloff Press (right and left)
Rest: 60 secs, then back to 1a
- A great movement to strengthen your position and stability.
- Hold a split squat position with both knees at a 90-degree angle.
- Anchor a band horizontally and push away from your midline, holding for 20 secs with both arms straight in front of you.
2a. Bulgarian Split Squat (right and left)
Rest: Straight to 2b
- The OG of single-leg exercises, this movement has high mechanical transfer to running – load it, move with intent and stay controlled.
- Your torso angle can change the way the lower body takes the load: leaning forward provides a more hip-centred movement, whereas an upright torso provides a more knee-dominant pattern.
2b. Single-Arm DB Bench Press
Rest: 60 secs, then back to 2a
- Arm propulsion is hugely important here.
- Make sure you keep your trunk engaged through each rep and focus on owning the movement before adding too much load.
3a. Plyo Pogo Jump
Rest: Straight to 3b
- Starting on two feet, spring up as high as you can, maintaining straight legs.
- Force production and absorption is key when running – this drill trains both.
- Target a dynamic ground contact and springy rebound with each rep.
3b. Alternating Glute March
Rest: 60 secs, then back to 3a
- Set up in a hip thrust position on the floor and lift one foot off the floor at a time.
- Focus on stability through your pelvis with each leg lift and maintain extension at the hip throughout.
Check out The Movement Blueprint’s Running Foundations programme at themovementblueprint.co/runningfoundations