Strength Training for Running

A man and woman running through an inner city suburb

Strength Training for Running


When it comes to running, a common myth is that strength training will make you bulky and slow you down. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Specific, well planned and executed strength training has shown to help with running economy and energy expenditure required for each stride. This is a great way to help bulletproof runners from injury, keeping them on the pavement for longer.

So, does this mean doing bicep curls will help improve running economy? Not quite. This is where specific exercises can be explored to help strengthen key muscles associated with running. The will also help promote more efficient and effective techniques. So, when it comes to running, a lot of the muscles of the posterior chain take responsibility such as the glutes, hamstrings and calf complex. These largely facilitate hip extension and flexion of the knee, two incredibly import components of force production that are vital during running.

One of these key muscles is glut med , which plays a really important role when it comes to running. It helps stabilize the pelvis and prevent it from dropping. It also limits the amount of knee collapse that occurs during the heel strike of running. Typically a weaker glute med will allow more of this ‘knee collapse’ or valgus stress on the knee which can damage some of the structures on the inside of the knee. Therefore, incorporating pre-running activation of this muscle can drastically help the technique and efficiency of running.

1. Banded Clams

This exercise is a great way to integrate some of the roles that the glute med muscle is responsible for. This includes abduction (taking the leg away from the midline) and externally rotating the leg.

2. Crab Walks

This exercise is a brilliant way to integrate the strength of the glute med muscle with the dynamic stability of each individual leg. Single-leg support is an important component of running as only one leg is in contact with the ground at all times. Therefore, it’s important to activate the glutes for this demand.

We are here to help improve your efficiency  so that you can bring it into your routine. Book an appointment with one of our physio’s today!

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