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Why Runners Need to Strength Train

Strength training is just as important for runners as it is for athletes competing in other sports. Adding a strength training program to your regular running routine can help improve performance and decrease your risk for certain types of running related injuries. Unfortunately not enough runners add strength training to their training programs until they are advised by a physical therapist after an injury occurs.

5 Benefits of strength training for runners

1. Run faster
2. Improve finishing kick
3. Improve body composition
4. Prevent injuries
5. Improve running mechanics

How Should Runners Strength Train?

A strength and conditioning program for runners should train the entire body. A combination of resistance training using weights or resistance bands, body weight exercises, explosive plyometrics should all be a part of a runner’s regular training routine. Special emphasis should be placed on training the hips and core of a runner to maximize performance and decrease injuries.

Sample Exercises:

While there are plenty of exercises available to help a runner strength train, these are a small sample of exercises we use at our Cary NC physical therapy office to maximize performance and reduce injuries.
Plyometric: Bounds
Upper Body: Single Arm Row
Lower Body: Skaters
Hip/Core: Side Plank with Hip Abduction
Visit our exercise video library to few examples of these exercises

About the author:
Dr. Kevin Prue PT, DPT, CSCS is a graduate of Duke University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. He is the president and director of Prue Physical Therapy & Sports Performance located in Cary NC. He specializes sports and orthopedic physical therapy, sports performance training and injury prevention for youth and recreational athletes.

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