Building A Better Running Body

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My little kettlebell friend 😉

Hey boys and girls…. off to another day….  my thought on waking this morning… “there are parts of me that are tight and ache that I’m not used to” haha

Enter… doing new exercises or hitting others harder than you have recently. I actually, in a twisted way, kinda like that feeling. I know I’ve worked m body in a different way and that’s a good thing.  We do adjust to the same/similar work over time and  have to step outside our comfort zone, whether it’s adding something new, increasing our weights or our reps, or running a little farther.

As a runner I do try and find exercises that will build and strengthen me for running…. is there a more glorious form of exercise ? 😉 I have found that my strong upper body really does come into play when I’m in those last hard miles of a long run and my legs might be asking “are we there yet?”

I’ve also read a lot on how runners can rely more on their legs than the strong powerful glute muscles to drive their run and how those muscles, even though the largest on the body, can be weak or neglected leading to potential injury. I’ve been focused on doing some specific work in that area for awhile now.

Yesterday’s workout was one I enjoy ’cause for me it’s constant movement and variety. I do some boxing for like…3 songs (that will get you breathing hard) and it’s great upper body/core work. I move into doing some weights, back to some boxing, then core work on the floor, weights, and maybe end with the final song hammering on the bag. ( seriously, if you ever need to release stress, anger, frustration…. get a punching bag 😉 anyway, put all that together, it’s a good workout that I feel the next day. I like that.

So some moves I’m doing lately I think are helpful ( and hey if you’re into that aesthetic thing, they don’t hurt for that either 😉

Squats. I do those suckers wherever I can. I can knock off like… 50 brushing my teeth. Do that twice a day… that’s outside of my workouts… bonus… I use  a 35lb kettlebell to do my squats with in my workouts. Yeah, you’ll feel that after awhile.

Deadlifts. Again, if I’m moving through a quick workout, that kettlebell really comes in handy.

 Glute Bridges. I think one of the single best moves for runners. Do single leg also… that’s where you find out pretty quick that you’re a total badass   wimp. Single leg really isolates the muscles on one side and you have to intentionally focus (embrace the discomfort…. I try not to make squealing noises at the end of a set haha)

Lunges. Those are always a good standby and can be modified for your needs.

My newest favorite though, has taken me a little practice working on the form, is the single leg deadlift. Oh I’ve got it now… I’ve even got it using my 35lb kettlebell through the move. The movements are slow, controlled and focused….. and yeah…. you should feel it. I love that this exercise isolates and focuses on one side without making you over-compensate. It’s best done barefoot so you can really plant your foot solidly on the floor. This move will also bring out every balance skill you have….. perfect for an old person like me to keep that sharp 😉

Even if you don’t run, these are great lower body strength moves that benefit anyone. Incorporating a variety of exercises and athletic movements into your routine will make you stronger for your overall daily living =)

Do you have any favorite “go to” strength exercises ?

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Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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