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 or the energy expenditure required for each stride. Not only this but it’s also 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 and 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. It plays a really important role when it comes to running, not only does it help stabilize the pelvis and prevent it from dropping, It subsequently 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 activations 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. This single-leg support is an important component of running as most of it is done unilaterally rather than having both legs in contact with the ground at the same time. Therefore, it’s important to activate the glutes for this demand.
We are here to help improve your efficiency of running so that you can enjoy it and bring it into your regular form of exercise. Book an appointment with one of our physio’s today!