Strength Training for Runners

Strength Training for Runners

Weight training may seem counterintuitive to runners, the more muscle you have, the more weight you have to carry around and move when running.  In simple terms that is true – this doesn’t mean you should avoid weight training all together.  In fact, weight training is the perfect supplement to running and can be extremely beneficial.  Our East Perth Trained Physio’s are here to help!

Benefits of Strength Training for Runners:

  1. Prevent running injuries by strengthening muscles and fixing muscular and stability imbalances which can lead to overuse or traumatic injuries.
  2. Run faster! Strength training improves your muscular power but also increases neuromuscular coordination to maximally utilise your new found muscle strength and endurance!
  3. Run more efficiently by improving coordination and stride efficiency.  You will be able to minimise wasted energy expenditure, meaning all your hard work actually gets transferred into kilometres run!

Our East Perth Physio’s can take you through a strength program within our fully equipped East Perth Gym and Rehab Facility. 

Strength Training Program for Runners

It is never a one size fits all for exercise programming, especially when programming for performance or injury prevention/rehabilitation. The best exercise or exercise program is always going to be one that is individualised to your body and requirements.  We recommend a Trained East Perth Physio consultation, where we can accurately assess your specific situation to make the best exercise recommendations.

Compound Workout

A compound lift exercise is a multi joint movement that recruits multiple muscle groups simultaneously.  These movements have good functional transference of strength and stability gains to running.

Exercise examples: Squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, pull-ups, glute bridges

Unilateral Training for Athletes

Running is by definition a series of repeated single leg stance postures. What does this mean? In walking, we have periods of double leg and single leg stance (i.e. one (single) or two (double) feet on the ground at any given time).  However, in running, we eliminate the double leg stance. Hence, it is highly beneficial to train for both strength and stability in this single leg posture.  Imbalances or reduced stability will lead to abnormal loading of the joints, energy loss (inefficiency) and increase the likelihood of overuse or loading injuries.

Exercise examples: Step ups, single leg deadlifts, lunge variations, Turkish get-ups

Build Powerful Running Legs

Power is the ability to exert a maximum force over a short period of time. The more powerful you are, the more force you will be able to exert during each push-off phase.  This is the period in the running cycle where you generate your acceleration force as the toe pushes off the ground.  By definition the stronger and quicker you are, the more powerful you are.

Exercise examples: Clean variations (hang, power, squat clean, clean and press), snatch variations, kettlebell swings, box jumps.

Stability Training Exercises

Stability in running is crucial for energy efficiency and injury prevention.  Firstly, energy efficiency, the more stable you are, the more direct transfer of energy or force production you achieve. If you are unstable, then energy is lost at that joint. For example, an unstable hip will mean energy is lost when transferring down the the knee.  Lost energy = wasted energy, probably the last thing you want when trying to run a PB or already struggling through a marathon!  The second point related to injury prevention.  Instability leads to abnormal loading of the joints and supporting structures.  Our East Perth Trained Phyio’s we commonly see this present as knee or back pain and may be stemming from pelvic, knee or ankle instability.  This is why a proper initial consultation assessment is so important to identify what is causing your specific issue.

Exercise examples: Bird dog, palloff press, side lying clams, balance and proprioception training, unilateral and isolation training.

East Perth Trained Physio

Want to run faster, stronger and more efficiently?  Do these moves consistently and you will not only see your running performance improve, you will also prevent common running injuries!

Did you know at Trained Physio we have a fully equipped rehabilitation facility?  Check out the details here.  Physiotherapy has several goals including promote healing, reduce pain, avoiding aggravation, optimising physical function and global strengthening to restore normal movement patterns.  To see how I can help you  BOOK ONLINE TODAY

Written by: Olivia Strelein

  • BSc. Physiotherapy (Honours)
  • BSc. Exercise and Sport Science
  • Personal Trainer