Upper body strength is just as important for runners as lower body. When those legs get tired something has to support continued movement and that’s going to be your upper body. Having a strong back, powerful shoulders and a stable core will all help you run faster and with lower risk of injury. Here are four of Team ECRP‘s favorite ways to earn them. Each one will help you improve running form and stay strong over any distance you cover.
Banded Pull A-parts – This simple banded exercise strengthens your shoulders and upper back. Strong shoulders lead to better posture and running form by setting the shoulders in an externally rotated position. That means arms will travel forward and back without wasting any energy crossing the mid-line.
Push-ups – There are lots of variations for push-ups and they’re all good. Starting with a basic push-up to strengthen your shoulders, chest and core you can use them as part of a warm-up or any strength workout. Whether you modify them by dropping to your knees or maintain a plank position all the way through, push-ups will help train your shoulders to maintain good position when the going gets tough.
Renegade Rows – This key push-up version combines strength on both the anterior and posterior chains by adding a row. Using a light dumbbell you’ll train for good posture and a strong core with this one. Try to avoid round headed dumbbells, especially in the beginning, because they’ll want to roll and make you work a whole lot harder to stay in a good position.
Squat to Overhead Press – A fantastic combo move, the squat to overhead press works the whole body in one motion. Building power, improving coordination and getting stronger all are benefits of this simple exercise. Start with light weights and make sure you’re keeping your chest up without letting your knees fall in for 10 reps before stepping up to heavier dumbbells.
Add these four movements to your routine to build the stability and strength your upper body needs to carry you over every distance you cover with good form.