Marathon Training: Add These Strength Workouts

author : Mike Jones
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5 Strength Exercises You Should Add to Your Training for a Marathon

These days, there's a marathon for all occasions and lengths. But regardless of what type of race it is, participants won't do well in them without the proper strength training. Unfortunately, there's so much advice out thereon strength training programs that those training can be confused. So how can a runner make the right choices concerning a strength training regimen? Read on to learn more about how marathoners can find the exercise information that's right for them.

Why Is the Right Strength Training Program Essential for Marathoners?

Running is very good for the body. Ironically, it's also very bad for the body. Running can destroy everything from muscles to ligaments to tendons, and place undue stress on the heart. Studies have shown that 85 percent of all runners will eventually be dealing with running related health issues. One of the things that could help to alleviate this? Appropriate strength training.

What You Should Guide You in A Marathon Strength Training Program

The ability to train safely and effectively should be foremost here. Some who are training look to well-known people that they admire to guide them. Blake Lively, Bob Harper, and Demi Lovato are among the many celebrities who have gotten amazing results from strength training. But what if you are hoping to get advice from a celebrated individual who's also a professional trainer.

In addition to using prepared programs, you can also develop your own strength training regimen. Below are some of the most recommended exercises for those training for marathons.

1. The Scorpion

Get on your hands and knees and assume a pushup position. While facing in this direction, elevate your feet by placing them on a bench. Now raise your right knee towards your left shoulder. Try to rotate your hips as far to the left as possible. Bring your right knee back to the "neutral" position and repeat these steps with your left knee. Rotating both hips is considered one full repetition.

What This Helps: Shoulder and core muscle.

Number of Repetitions: As many as you can do in 30 seconds.

Modifications: Make this exercise more challenging by using an exercise ball instead of a bench, resting your shins on it.

2. Overhead Lunge

Standing up straight holding a runner's dumbbell in each hand over your head, drop into the lunge (left leg extended 90 degrees) position. Your arms should be straight and your elbows locked. Once you've assumed this position, hold for 30 seconds and return to your original position.

What This Helps: Glutes, quads, and core muscles.

Number of Repetitions: Six to eight.

Modifications: This exercise is easier to do if it's done with weights held at a shoulder level.

3. Shoulder Rotational Press

Hold a runner's dumbbell in each hand. Bring hands together with palms facing each other. Raise pressed hands above your head as you rotate to the left. Bring hands back down to your waist as you rotate to the center. Raise hands above your head again as you rotate to the right. This completes your first repetition. 

What This Helps: Shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.

Number of Repetitions: Six to eight.

Modifications: Do about half of the repetitions without rotating to give yourself a break.

4. Stability Ball Jackknife 

Get into a pushup position.

Place your shins on a stability ball. Raise your hips and round your lower back, pulling the ball back towards your chest with your feet. This is one repetition.

What This Helps: Shoulders and core muscles.

Number of Repetitions: Do 10 to 12 repetitions.

Modifications: You can avoid strain by keeping your knees as close to your chest as possible while doing this exercise.

5. Back Extensions

Lay down flat on an exercise mat, arms straight on either side of you. Initially press down lightly on the palms of your hands. Squeeze your glutes together, bend your elbows, and raise your torso up off of the mat. Raise your hands over your head, continuing to keep your elbows bent. Try to hold this for one to two seconds. Return to your prone position to complete the repetition.

What This Helps: Glutes, core muscles, and the upper and lower back.

Number of Repetitions: Do 10 to 12.

Modifications: This exercise can also be done with a stability ball. To make it more challenging, try holding a dumbbell in each hand.

More Strength Training Tips

Strength training should not be your only non-running marathon training. Don't forget about other cross training techniques including aerobic exercise such as swimming. Your strength training should be year-round and should be done about three times a week. As always, check in with your doctor before adding to your training schedule.

And remember that patience is key to strength training. Not only does this help ensure that exercises are done properly, but this attitude will also help you to both complete marathons and win them as well.

Mike Jones started his strength program with the Max Workouts regimen created by Shin Ohtake. He decided to write about the experience and you can check a full review to see if it's worth the money or not. After a few months, Mike started personalizing his fitness routine to get better results. He plans to run the New York City Marathon in 2018.


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date: September 30, 2017

Mike Jones