I don’t do weights! But my trainer friends urge me to build muscle tone. “It will help your running,” they argue. I do anything which helps my running.
When you run, it is not just the legs which move forward, you need a stable core and a strong upper body twisting back and forth to propel the hips and legs. The upper body IS the primary driver swiveling the body back and forth. This happens step after step, about 2000 steps/mile and nearly 55,000 steps in a marathon. It is the strength of the upper body, core muscles and glutes, which give endurance to last long hours on a marathon course. The trainers are right, if you are running marathons, you need to work on strength training as well.
I like this particular combination exercise which Chris Brown, the trainer in our Gym (Clubs @ Charles River Park) introduced me to. I usually work with 10 lb dumbells for a satisfying workout. Working with dumbbells (and free weights in general) recruits the often ignored smaller (intrinsic) muscle groups to help stabilize the motion. You get a balanced workout and importantly, prevent injuries.
In some fitness classes, the instructor has us do these with our backs on an exercise ball. An amazing core workout!
In the first exercise on the video clip – the Pec Fly, primarily works the pectoralis and secondarily the deltoids. Muscles which stabilize the shoulder and core are also recruited. In the second exercise, the Chest Press works the pectoralis, the deltoid and triceps.
As Chris cautions in the video, start with lighter weights and go slow. Note, as the arms go through the arc of movement, the body is essentially still.
Workout Hard, Run Fast!
My Running and Workout related Posts:
- Video: Abs Express – Aphrodisiac Abs in 15 minutes
- The Plank: Strengthening the Core
- How to do Interval Training on a Treadmill
- Scapular Exercises for Stronger Shoulders
- Heel & Achilles Tendon Stretch
- Yoga of Running: Tough Mile 1