“Resistance training for runners”

In a recent article,  Mark A. Jenkins, MD, Director of the Student Health Service at Rice University, said that weight/resistance training can be valuable to  runners  desiring to improve their performance.

Specifically, …”Resistance training for distance runners can help in several ways. First, strength gains can help in circumstances where a runner needs a little extra power, such as going up a hill. It is no secret that you will be better at running hills if you train by running hills. Hill repeats are an example of a resistance exercise that helps develop the muscles and strength needed to run up hills. Another performance benefit comes from keeping the “power platform” in good shape. This region consists of vital anchoring and supporting muscles abdominal, back, and pelvic region and provides the necessary framework for running. Thus, the muscles which are directly responsible for forward motion have a flexible, yet stable, platform. Sit-ups, back extensions, and pelvic stabilizing exercises (e.g. one leg squats, hip adduction, hip abduction) can help keep weakness out of your stabilizers.”

An experienced physical therapist can provide a weight/resistance training blueprint which will ensure performance benefits without the unwanted excess of bulky, fast twitch, muscle.  Weight/resistance training can also help you lose unwanted fat by increasing the body’s metabolic rate as well as address “overuse” injuries so common in runners (i.e.muscle groups which become shortened, tight and/or weak as the result of overtraining or poor biomechanics)

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