Build up your biceps, triceps and shoulders to amp up your run.
The swing of your arms propels you forward while you run and it requires strength, which comes from your shoulders. If your shoulders are fatigued, it will definitely slow you down especially for longer distances.
While holding your hands at chest level when running, the biceps and triceps work to hold the arms in that position, hence providing balance when you run.
Biceps are responsible for any pulling movement. If you have practiced the past issues’ workouts like the back exercise, you may realize your biceps giving way before you could feel the back muscle. In the case of a push up, you feel your triceps more than the chest, hence it is important to strengthen the ‘smaller’ muscles like biceps and triceps.
Imagine just lifting your own arms up and down without any weights and yet most will struggle after 20 repetitions on the second set.
Shoulder joints are also the only ones that rotate at almost all angles, more than any other joints, and if they are weak, chances of injuries are definitely higher.
TIP OF THE MONTH
If you have been consistently practicing and getting stronger, you may combine two exercises and do it back to back without resting in between sets. An example will be a push up combined with squats. Benefits include shorter workout time and cardiovascular benefit due to less time and having your heart rate higher throughout the exercises.
Take Proper Caution
Stay away from strength training 2-3 days or up to a week before marathons or key races so that your muscles are not sore and fresh for the race. Focus on stretching instead.
Standing Shoulder Press
Stand at shoulder width apart with one foot forward. Start with holding a light weight at ear level and lift it. Imagine something fell on you and you are pushing it up. Do it with a controlled motion and flex your shoulders while lifting. You could start without weights and gradually increase with smaller weights.
One of the easiest exercises to execute with your palm facing up while holding weights. Just be wary not to swing your upper arms while performing this and do it with a slow and controlled motion while flexing your biceps.
A smaller biceps muscle is activated in this move of having your palm facing each other, lifting like a hammer, thus the name hammer curl.
FACT OF THE MONTH
If you are crunched for time and wish to do your run and strength training together, it is better to do the run first to avoid muscle fatigue.
It is not necessary to work all body parts at one go, especially after any tiring run. A good 15 minutes of two exercises with planks for core after a good run should suffice. Choose another 2 different exercises if you are doing it again the next day.
This move may be difficult for beginners since you will be carrying your own body weight. But practice makes easy!
Hands by the side of your hips, elbow at a natural position, lower your body just a few inches and push yourself up again. Chest proud and core straight at all times. DO NOT lock your elbows at top position and if you are strong, lower it to 90 degrees only.
To make it easier, keep your feet closed and use your feet to help the lift/push. To make it harder, put your feet away but NOT straightening/locking it.
As easy as it looks, this move hits the triceps muscles directly without any assisting muscles, just like in the picture, with a controlled movement when straightening. Pause it for half a second and lower it slowly. While performing this, make sure your back is straight and comfortable.
Alternate single leg raises
This works the lower abs and also the hip flexors. Starting with both legs up, lower one leg all the way down almost touching the floor, lift it up again, then lower the other leg. You may lower down to 45 degrees if you find it hard to go all the way down.
With both legs straight up, lower them slowly down to 45 degrees ONLY. Going all the way down puts pressure on the lower back. You may bend your knees more to make it easier.
Founder of Mission Fit
Kannan Murugasan is a Personal Fitness Trainer with 16 years of experience and has accomplished 10 Ironman and 2 Ultraman Canada.